LOUDON, N.H. (AP) – Kyle Busch earned a berth in the second round of NASCAR’s playoffs with a dominant victory Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Busch slipped through smoke from a multi-car crash on the backstretch that knocked out Martin Truex Jr.’s run at a second straight win and won in the No. 18 Toyota for the third time this season.
Busch, who won from the pole, put together a complete effort and joined Truex in the next round of the playoffs. The field is cut from 16 drivers to 12 following next week’s race at Dover International Speedway.
Truex, who won the playoff opener at Chicagoland, led 112 laps early until he was caught up in a wreck that ended his shot at a sixth win.
The playoff standings were shaken up in the wake of massive multi-car wreck that sent playoff drivers Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick to the garage. Harvick’s car was hit by Austin Dillon on the last lap of the second stage. Harvick spun and smoke billowed over the track, leaving drivers almost blinded to the traffic ahead. Busch, Harvick’s teammate at Stewart-Haas Racing, slammed into Harvick. Truex backed up to straighten himself out and instead suffered left-rear damage when he smacked another car.
Kurt Busch, the Daytona 500 champion, will likely have to win next week at Dover to advance to the second round.