LOUDON, N.H. - The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup and NASCAR XFINITY Series will headline this weekend’s schedule of racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, where Kevin Harvick will be looking for his first win of the season and second straight win at the one-mile track. Here’s a look at how Ford has fared through the years.
FORD IN THE MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES AT NEW HAMPSHIRE
· Ford has 14 all-time series wins at New Hampshire.
· Ford’s all-time winningest MENCS driver at New Hampshire is Jeff Burton (4 wins).
· Kevin Harvick is the defending champion of this weekend’s event.
FORD IN THE NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT NEW HAMPSHIRE
· Ford has 8 series wins by 8 different drivers at New Hampshire.
· The last Ford winner was Brad Keselowski in 2014.
· Ford has 3 MENCS/NXS season sweeps at NHMS (1994, 2004 and 2014).
HARVICK LOOKING TO DEFEND
Kevin Harvick used the bump-and-run on Kyle Busch, passing him with seven laps to go, to take the checkered flag and register his series-leading sixth win of the season in last year’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Harvick broke a tie with Busch for the most individual wins as the race came down to the final laps following a restart with 40 laps to go. Harvick steadily gained ground on Busch and made his move in the middle of turns one and two. He led a group of five Fords that finished in the top 10 as Aric Almirola was third, Ryan Blaney seventh, Kurt Busch eighth and Joey Logano ninth.
FOUR OVER TWO
A pit call by crew chief Todd Gordon with 53 laps to go proved to be the key decision in helping Joey Logano win the Playoff race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2014. With Logano running inside the top-five for most of the race, Gordon called for four tires while most of the other teams opted for two. That put Logano 16th on the ensuing restart, but he quickly moved up to sixth 10 laps later when another caution slowed the field. Logano endured three more cautions, including a green-white-checker restart, over the final 30 laps to post the seventh win of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career.
Brad Keselowski had a weekend to remember as he became the first driver to sweep a NASCAR XFINITY and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, achieving the feat on July 12-13, 2014. Keselowski led 138 of 305 laps, including the final two under a green-white-checkered finish, to beat Kyle Busch to the finish line. The win was Ford’s fourth straight series win, marking the first time that had happened since 2001.
Kurt Busch became the first driver to ever win a race in the Playoff format when he won at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 19, 2004. Busch, who went on to win the series championship later that season, led 155-of-300 laps to complete a season sweep. Matt Kenseth finished second to give owner Jack Roush and Ford a 1-2 finish. The victory enabled Busch to grab a share of the points lead as he left Loudon tied with Dale Earnhardt Jr. for first place.
Jeff Burton is the last driver to lead every lap of a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race when he did it on Sept. 17, 2000 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Bobby Labonte started from the pole, but Burton grabbed the lead after starting on the outside of the front row. Even though Labonte and Dale Earnhardt challenged him throughout the day, Burton never gave up the lead, becoming the first driver to lead every lap of a series race since Cale Yarborough did it in the Music City USA 420 at Nashville Speedway on June 3, 1978. The race, which was run with the use of restrictor plates, ended under caution after Sterling Marlin was involved in an accident with three laps remaining. It was Burton’s fourth win at the speedway and concluded a stretch that saw him win four consecutive seasons at the Magic Mile.
Ford’s first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway came in the track’s second year of hosting events in 1994. That’s when Ricky Rudd outdueled Dale Earnhardt in the closing laps to post his 15th career win. Rudd led 55 laps on the day, but won it after a memorable side-by-side battle with seven laps to go in which he passed Earnhardt on the inside, only to see the black No. 3 crossover and pull alongside for the next lap. Rudd eventually pulled in front and held on to take the Slick 50 300 on July 10, 1994. Rudd went on to post 23 NSCS wins in his career and had at least one victory in 16 consecutive seasons (1983-98), but none may have been as satisfying as this one because it marked his first triumph as an owner/driver.
FORD MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP WINNERS AT NHMS
1994 – Ricky Rudd
1996 – Ernie Irvan
1997 – Jeff Burton (1)
1998 – Jeff Burton (1)
1999 – Jeff Burton (1)
2000 – Jeff Burton (2)
2001 – Dale Jarrett (1)
2002 – Ryan Newman (2)
2004 – Kurt Busch (Sweep)
2008 – Greg Biffle (2)
2014 – Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano
2018 – Kevin Harvick
FORD NASCAR XFINITY WINNERS AT NHMS
1994 – Derrike Cope
1995 – Chad Little
1999 – Elton Sawyer
2001 – Jason Keller
2002 – Bobby Hamilton Jr.
2004 – Matt Kenseth
2006 – Carl Edwards
2014 – Brad Keselowski