Aric Almirola, Kyle Busch split stage wins at New Hampshire

Staff Report

Aric Almirola emerged from an eventful Stage 2 Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway to land his first stage win of the Monster Energy Series season.

Almirola took the lead by staying out during a late-stage cycle of pit stops, then kept his Stewart-Haas Racing No. 10 Ford out front for the final 10 laps.

RELATED: Stage 2 results | Updated stage points

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Joey Logano ended up second in Stage 2 in the Team Penske No. 22 Ford. Ryan Newman took third, William Byron fourth and Kyle Busch — leader of 118 of the first 150 laps — was fifth.

Stage 2 was marked by a handful of caution periods, the first emerging when Daniel Suarez’s No. 41 collided with the No. 8 of Daniel Hemric, drawing a yellow flag on Lap 109. Suarez was able to continue, but Hemric’s damage was too severe after his car’s front-end impact with the outside wall.

With 14 laps to go in the stage, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s No. 17 Ford made heavy contact with the outside wall exiting Turn 2. He nursed his Roush Fenway Racing entry back to pit road, but left the car and was done for the day.

The final caution of the stage stemmed from a tight contest for position between Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer. Both continued after sustaining damage in their coming-together exiting Turn 4.

The full scheduled distance for Sunday’s event is 301 laps.

Finish

Driver

Team

Points

1

Aric Almirola

Stewart-Haas Racing

10

2

Joey Logano

Team Penske

9

3

Ryan Newman

Roush Fenway Racing

8

4

William Byron

Hendrick Motorsports

7

5

Kyle Busch

Joe Gibbs Racing

6

6

Denny Hamlin

Joe Gibbs Racing

5

7

Kyle Larson

Chip Ganassi Racing

4

8

Kevin Harvick

Stewart-Haas Racing

3

9

Paul Menard

Wood Brothers Racing

2

10

Kurt Busch

Chip Ganassi Racing

1

Stage 1

Kyle Busch showed signs of early strength with a victory in the opening stage of Sunday’s Monster Energy Series event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Busch started second and led 61 of the first 75 laps in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota. The performance marked his seventh stage win of the season — tying Joey Logano for the series lead — and allowed Busch to bank a playoff point to carry through the 10-race postseason.

RELATED: Stage 1 results

Erik Jones made it a 1-2 sweep for Joe Gibbs Racing, claiming second place in Stage 1 in the No. 20 Toyota. Aric Almirola, Clint Bowyer and pole-starter Brad Keselowski rounded out the top five in the opening segment at the 1.058-mile track.

An incident involving Austin Dillon brought out the only yellow flag of the stage on Lap 45. A tire issue forced Dillon’s No. 3 Chevrolet out of the groove and into the outside retaining wall. He continued after repairs, running multiple laps down, but slowed again with six laps left in the stage with another tire issue.

Five drivers started at the rear of the field after going to backup cars because of issues over the course of the weekend in practice and qualifying. Denny Hamlin was the best finisher among them in Stage 1, rising up to ninth to place all four Joe Gibbs Racing entries in the top 10 at the end of the stage.

Finish

Driver

Team

Points

1

Kyle Busch

Joe Gibbs Racing

10

2

Erik Jones

Joe Gibbs Racing

9

3

Aric Almirola

Stewart-Haas Racing

8

4

Clint Bowyer

Stewart-Haas Racing

7

5

Brad Keselowski

Team Penske

6

6

Martin Truex Jr.

Joe Gibbs Racing

5

7

Ryan Blaney

Team Penske

4

8

Kevin Harvick

Stewart-Haas Racing

3

9

Denny Hamlin

Joe Gibbs Racing

2

10

Daniel Suarez

Stewart-Haas Racing

1

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