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JUL 28, 2020 | Ford Performance Staff

What you need to know about New Hampshire

Ford Mustangs leading the pack on the track

LOUDON, N.H. - The NASCAR Cup Series takes center stage at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, where Ford has won each of the last two years – both by Stewart-Haas driver Kevin Harvick.  Ford leads the series with 10 victories on the season by five different drivers.  With only seven races remaining in the regular season, Ford currently has eight drivers in playoff positions, including the top three in the point standings with Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney.

FORD IN THE NASCAR CUP SERIES AT NEW HAMPSHIRE

  • Ford has 15 all-time series wins at New Hampshire.
  • Ford’s all-time winningest NCS driver at New Hampshire is Jeff Burton (4 wins).
  • Kevin Harvick is the two-time defending champion of this weekend’s event.

HARVICK TRYING TO MAKE NHMS HISTORY
Kevin Harvick is looking to become the first driver to win three consecutive NASCAR Cup Series races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after posting back-to-back triumphs in 2018 and 2019.  Harvick, who has four career victories at the one-mile oval, is one of four drivers to win two straight, joining Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch and Matt Kenseth.

HARVICK HANGS ON FOR SECOND STRAIGHT
Kevin Harvick survived a last-lap bump from behind by Denny Hamlin to win last year’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301, giving him his first NASCAR Cup Series win of the season and second straight at the Magic Mile.  Harvick played the track position game all day long and when Kyle Larson brought out the caution on lap 266 of the 301-lap event, crew chief Rodney Childers’ decision to keep Harvick on the track made all the difference as the top three of Hamlin, Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski pitted.  When the race restarted with 39 laps to go, Harvick had to contend with Hamlin, who led 113 laps on the afternoon and reached his bumper on the final lap.  The resulting nudge made Harvick wiggle, but he was able to keep his foot in the gas and retain the lead for what became his 46th career victory.

BUMP-AND-RUN PROPELS HARVICK IN 2018
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 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 NASCAR Cup Series career. 

WEEKEND SWEEP
Brad Keselowski had a weekend to remember as he became the first driver to sweep a NASCAR XFINITY and 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.

PLAYOFF FIRST
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.

300-FOR-300
Jeff Burton is the last driver to lead every lap of a 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.

OWNER/DRIVER FIRST
Ford’s first 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 NASCAR CUP SERIES 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
2019 – Kevin Harvick

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