Crayon 301 highlights: Martin Truex Jr. sweeps New Hampshire Motor Speedway


The NASCAR Cup Series‘ July schedule continued Monday with the Crayon 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, as Martin Truex Jr. came out on top after 301 hard-fought laps on the storied asphalt speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire.

The race was originally scheduled for Sunday but was postponed due to heavy rain and an accompanying a flood warning. It marked the third Cup event this year postponed because of rain and also the third consecutive event impacted by rain.

You can find a full list of winners so far this year, as well as the season’s remaining schedule here.

Here are the top moments.

Green!

Pole-sitter Christopher Bell led the opening lap but was getting immediate pressure from Truex, who quickly drove out to a one-second lead over Bell and the rest of the field early in Stage 1.

Around he goes

A.J. Allmendinger brought out the first caution of the day after he spun off Turn 2 on the backstraightaway.

Follow the leader

It was a hard-fought battle for the lead as the first stage came to a close.

On the move

Ty Gibbs, who had gained 24 spots since the race’s start at the time, made contact with Alex Bowman late in the opening stage.

One down, two to go

Truex went on to win Stage 1 by over 3.5 seconds, followed by William Byron, Tyler Reddick, Aric Almirola and Ryan Blaney rounding out the top five. He continued to hold the lead off pit road.

Not everyone was having the same luck, however, as Corey LaJoie and Kyle Busch both got into the wall at the end of the first stage. The contact was enough to cut Busch’s race short right then and there.

The green flag was back out on Lap 78.

Close calls

Bell got back in the swing of things in Stage 2, while Byron clipped Justin Haley on pit road as he was exiting his stall.

Elsewhere, Cole Custer, who got into the wall in Turn 3 but avoided bringing a caution out, had his day cut short.

Trouble in Turn 4

The caution did come out when Erik Jones spun out and got into the wall in Turn 4 to end a long green-flag run.

Chaos!

The green flag was back out with 17 laps to go in Stage 2, but Almirola’s big crash changed that and handed Kyle Larson the lead.

“I didn’t really have any concerns going into the restart, and then obviously the right-rear wheel came off,” Almirola said afterward.

Sweep!

Once again, the green flag returned, this time with just 11 laps remaining in the second stage, as Truex and Larson fought for the top spot. In the end, Truex was able to hang on and secure the Stage 2 win by over a second. 

He was followed by Larson, Joey Logano, Blaney and Denny Hamlin to round out the top five.

Eyes on the prize

The green flag was back out at Lap 192, as Truex grabbed the race lead. Blaney was hot on his trail, however, as the final stage got underway.

What could have been

There was a close call between Truex and Daniel Suárez off Turn 4 midway through the third and final stage, but both drivers were able to continue racing.

Not how he drew it up

Noah Gragson hit the wall in Turn 2, bringing out a late caution with 31 laps to go.

Miscue

Blaney was still in the mix late, but he was handed a penalty on pit road that sunk his chances of sealing the win.

Final stretch

Bowman brought out a caution after nearly wrecking in Turn 2. Luckily, he was able to straighten back out and avoid causing a major pileup.

Stay tuned for updates!

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