Brad Keselowski’s third win of the season came in dominant fashion on Sunday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Keselowski led 183 of 301 laps, including the last 81. He took the lead for the final time on lap 221, having swapped the top spot back and forth most of the afternoon with Denny Hamlin. But after getting around Hamlin once again, Keselowski drove away to a winning margin of over one second.
The Team Penske driver was the only one who’s laps led were in the triple digits. The win is the 33rd for Keselowski in the NASCAR Cup Series and his second at New Hampshire.
“We’ve had a lot of great races this year with the 2 car, but we just haven’t really gone out and kind of dominated a race,” said Keselowski. “Talking to (crew chief) Jeremy Bullins (it’s) like, ‘Man, what do we need to get to that next level? We’re right there. We need to go out and just dominate a race,’ and that’s what today was for us with the Western Star/Alliance Parts Ford Mustang.
“I’m really proud of my team and the effort that they gave today. A great race car. And to all of Team Penske, thank you.”
Hamlin came home second after leading 92 laps. His Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota led the field to the green flag on lap 219, which was the final restart of the day.
Keselowski and Hamlin were the only two drivers who led multiple times throughout the afternoon. The two combined to lead 276 of 301 laps. Five other drivers also led laps with the most coming from Chase Elliott (nine).
“We just kind of were second there to the 2 [Keselowski],” said Hamlin. “We could really do well on restarts, and we were going back-and-forth. Wow, that was some really, really good short-track racing there. Hopefully, the fans liked what they saw there with me and the 2 for most of the day.
“Some great side-by-side racing. We treated each other fairly, and it’s good that we got one-two out of it.”
Rounding out the top five finishers were Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano, and Kevin Harvick. Truex rebounded from a lap 97 penalty for an uncontrolled tire during a pit stop.
Matt DiBenedetto finished sixth with pole-sitter Aric Almirola finishing seventh. Almirola only led the first two laps.
Cole Custer was the highest-finishing rookie in eighth, earning his fourth top-10 finish in five races. Elliott finished ninth, and Tyler Reddick finished 10th.
After a spin on lap 64, while racing with Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson drove back into the top 10 late in the race. But he faded to a 12th-place finish. Bowyer finished 18th.
Kyle Busch did not finish the race. Busch completed 15 laps and had an early exit after cutting a tire and hitting the Turn 3 wall. He finished last.
The Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 had 11 cautions and 22 lead changes among seven drivers.