Matt Kenseth added to Joe Gibbs Racing’s recent hot streak by winning the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Kenseth led for a total of 27 out of the 300 laps, but took the lead for with three laps to go, as Kevin Harvick ran out of fuel. The win at New Hampshire gives JGR their fourth consecutive win and the team’s second win in the chase.
As the chase heads into the final race of the first round, Kenseth and teammate Denny Hamlin secured two JGR cars into the second round and continue the momentum the team has found since Darlington.
“Well, the thing about rolls and momentum is that it can stop at any given moment, so you got to do it while it’s here,” said Kenseth in Victory Lane. “I’ve been enjoying driving this 20 car and working for coach and Jason [Ratcliff] and this whole group. It’s been awesome. I think we still got some more coming, it feels good.”
As for the mood heading into Dover, Kenseth said, “We’ll go and bring our good stuff and try to run as good as we can next week and go on from there.”
While JGR seems to have been on hot streak, one of its drivers didn’t have the same luck at New Hampshire as the rest of his teammates. Kyle Busch left the track after a right front tire went down that him into the wall.
Meanwhile for Harvick, New Hampshire was the second week of bad luck. After running out of fuel within the final laps and a wreck at Chicagoland, Harvick heads into Dover looking for a win in order to recover from the first two races in the chase.
One race remains in the Challenger 16 round – the Monster Mile at Dover. Hamlin and Kenseth head into Dover with relief and security of continuing their championship hunt. Meanwhile 14 other drivers will attempt to keep their hopes alive but racing their way into the Contender Eight round.
While Kenseth and Hamlin lead the chase grid, Busch, Paul Menard, Harvick and Clint Bowyer are on the outside looking in as the bottom four on the chase grid.