The Latest: Kevin Harvick races to 1st win season

Sports

Kurt Busch’s team pushes his car towards inspection prior to a NASCAR Cup Series auto race practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H., Saturday, July 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

LOUDON, N.H. (AP) — The Latest on NASCAR’s Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (all times local):

6:25 p.m.

Kevin Harvick raced to his first NASCAR Cup Series victory of the season Sunday, winning at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the second straight year.

Harvick held off Denny Hamlin by 0.210 seconds after the two made contact coming out of the final turn. Harvick won for the 46th time and the first since November at Texas.

Harvick led the final 41 laps in the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford. He has four victories at the mile oval to ie the record set by Jeff Burton.

Hamlin led for 113 laps, but could not catch Harvick after pitting on a caution after Kyle Larson blew a tire on the 265th lap.

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4:55 p.m.

Aric Almirola picked up his first stage NASCAR Cup win of the year by taking the second stage at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday.

Almirola led the last 10 laps of the stage, which was interrupted by two cautions and a wreck that knocked Ricky Stenhouse Jr. out of the race after 135 laps.

Joey Logano took second in the stage and Ryan Newman was third, giving Ford a sweep of the top three spots in Stage 2.

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4:20 p.m.

Kyle Busch has won the first stage of NASCAR’s Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Busch started second on Sunday and led the pack in his No. 18 Toyota for 61 of the 75 laps to claim the 10 bonus points for winning the opening stage.

Erik Jones, Busch’s teammate with Joe Gibbs Racing, was second, Aric Almirola was third and Clint Bowyer took fourth in the stage. Pole sitter Brad Keselowski finished fifth.

Busch’s stage win was his seventh of the season, tying him with Cup Series points leader Joey Logano for the most this season.

The only caution in the first stage came after Austin Dillon bumped the wall on the 45th lap.

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3:55 p.m.

NASCAR is paying tribute to crew chief Nick Harrison, who died overnight after Saturday’s Xfinity Series race.

NASCAR announced Harrison’s death during the driver’s meeting before Sunday’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and honored him with a pre-race moment of silence. No details were given.

The 37-year-old Harrison was crew chief for Justin Haley, who finished in 13th place Saturday. In Harrison’s first season with Kaulig Racing, Haley had two top-five finishes and finished 12 times in the top 10.

“Not just a crew chief, but a friend to everyone who knew him,” Haley wrote on Twitter. “I, and everyone at Kaulig Racing are devastated. He will be greatly missed.”

According to NASCAR, Harrison was a veteran crew chief with all three NASCAR national series since 2006. His teams won five Xfinity Series races with drivers Austin Dillon, Paul Menard and Kurt Busch, who were all driving Sunday.

“We all lost a friend last night. We love you Nick Harrison. You were a leader, and a great friend to all,” Busch posted on Twitter. “Nick really helped me rebuild my career when I was at a low point. RIP.”

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2 p.m.

Brad Keselowski is on the pole for the first time in nearly two years Sunday as NASCAR’s Cup series returns to New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Keselowski, who won at New Hampshire in 2014, has three Cup Series victories in 2019, placing him one behind Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch for the season lead. Keselowski last started from the pole at Michigan in August 2017.

Busch qualified second in the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing and his older brother, Kurt, will start third for Chevy in the 300-mile race.

The Busch brothers are two of the six drivers in Sunday’s field with three career victories at New Hampshire. Another is Kevin Harvick, who picked up his third last year and will start 14th Sunday for Ford.

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More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-AutoRacing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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