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Matt Kenseth Wins New Hampshire!

Matt Kenseth patiently raced his way to the front of the field and led the final 31 laps to capture the win in today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series New Hampshire 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Teammates Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin earned top-ten finishes crossing the line in eighth and ninth respectively, while a late-race accident left Carl Edwards back in 20th.

Matt Kenseth started the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota in 18th but showed speed from the outset of today’s race as he began to climb his way into the top 10. Last fall’s New Hampshire race winner was up to eighth by lap 50 and was into the top five by lap 72. Kenseth would remain in the top five for the majority of the afternoon from that point. He would restart third with 75 laps remaining and was able to move into second on the restart and pressured the leader Martin Truex, Jr. for the next 30 laps before finally make the pass for the lead with 44 laps to go. A caution with 37 laps remaining would bring Kenseth down pit road for two tires and he would restart second behind Hamlin who did not pit. Within a couple laps he would have the Dollar General Camry back on point before another caution fell with 29 laps remaining. He would restart in first with 24 laps to go and drove away before another caution just four laps later. Kenseth would hold off his competitors through a couple more late restarts before earning his second win of the season.

Kyle Busch started the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota in second and wasted no time moving around pole sitter Jimmie Johnson for the lead on lap two. He would go on to lead 86 of the next 87 laps. Busch was never far from the front of the field this afternoon and he would take over the point again on lap 172 for 11 laps and then again on lap 185 for another 36 laps. A caution would set up a restart with 75 laps remaining and Busch would line up second for the restart after adjustments made to loosen up his Interstate Batteries Camry for the long run. He would drop back to run third shortly after the restart before a caution with 37 laps remaining. After another couple of cautions, Busch lined up third for a final restart with 11 laps remaining. Contact from several cars on the restart would shuffle the Interstate Batteries back outside the top five. He would finish eighth despite leading a race-high 133 laps this afternoon.

Denny Hamlin started the No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota from the fifth position and was up to third for a lap 40 restart following a two-tire pit stop under the day’s first caution. The 11 would lose a few spots on pit road causing him to restart eighth at lap 108 and he would run 10th at the halfway point. Hamlin would move into sixth on lap 248. A caution would come out with 37 laps remaining and crew chief Mike Wheeler would make the call for the FedEx Camry to remain out on the track while many of the other leaders pitted for fresh tires. That would put Hamlin at the point for the restart with 33 laps remaining. He would hold the lead through the initial lap but he couldn’t hold off his teammate Kenseth for long. Hamlin would restart second with 24 laps to go but this time he couldn’t get going when the green flag dropped and was shuffled back to fifth just a couple laps later. When a caution fell just four laps later Hamlin would bring his Camry down pit road for fresh tires leaving him to restart back in 25th with 17 to go. An accident in front of Hamlin on the restart would allow him to jump all the way into 15th for another restart with 11 to go. He would drive his way back into the top ten to earn a ninth-place finish.

Carl Edwards started the No. 19 Sport Clips Toyota from the 13th position but was able to drive his way toward the top ten and an early two-tire pit stop following a competition caution on lap 36 would move him up to fifth for a lap 40 restart. He would continue to battle inside the top ten through most of the first half of the race and was ninth at the midpoint. Edwards would fall outside the top ten for much of the second half of the race, but managed to regain track position toward the end of the race and lined up eighth for a restart with 17 laps remaining. However contact from the 31 sent him up into the 5 car causing a chain reaction accident. The Sport Clips Camry would have to come down pit road for quick repairs and fresh tires. He would line up 25th for another restart with 11 to go before going on to finish 20th.

Kenseth captured the win, followed by Tony Stewart, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle rounded out the top five. There were seven cautions for a total of 36 laps and 13 lead changes among six different drivers.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will head to Indianapolis Motor Speedway next Sunday. Live coverage of the Brickyard 400 will be carried by NBCSN on Sunday, July 24 starting with its pre-race show at 2 PM ET (race starts at 3 PM ET). Live coverage will also be carried on Sirius NASCAR radio channel 90.

Coughlin Keeps Points Lead After Redbud 300

When Cody Coughlin left Indiana’s Anderson Speedway in May, he left a winner, and now, despite a race that ended early for the 20 year-old, he is still the ARCA/CRA Super Series point leader. Coughlin will head to Indianapolis on Friday night on top of the standings after an early race parts failure resulted in a 19th-place finish for the No. 1 JEGS.com Toyota Camry.

The day started off about as well as it possibly could for Coughlin and his Team JEGS crew. They were near the top of the board in practice, they qualified second and ran in the top five for much of the early part of the 300-lap affair.

During a restart on lap 54, the Ohio native and another driver bounced off of each other numerous times on the first lap after the restart. During the confrontation the the driveline broke on his Super Late Model. As a result, Coughlin’s car spun to bring out a caution.

The JEGS.com crew, led by crew chief Jack Smith, quickly went to work to try to get the the car repaired and back out on track, but the car wasn’t fixable on this night.

The Joe Gibbs Racing Development driver finished 19th after starting fourth and is already looking forward to the next event with how well the team was performing.

“It’s a real shame, because we had a car that definitely could have won tonight,” Coughlin said. “Thankfully, we should still have the points lead when we head to Lucas Oil Raceway on Friday night. I know that my crew will give me a car that can win there too, so we’ll rebound there.

“I’m just thankful to have a great crew. Seeing them quickly jump to work the way they did to see if they could fix it was really cool. Jack, Kevin (Hamlin, team manager), Scott (Wimmer, spotter), and Dave (Holt, crew member) always work as hard as possible for me. It’s a shame we couldn’t get the win for them tonight. Even though we didn’t get the win, I’m still really thankful for my parents (Di and John) and my sister Kennedi for their endless support, and for the good Lord for keeping me safe.”

Coughlin is back in action on Wednesday night in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on the dirt at the Eldora Speedway for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Then he’ll be back in the Super Late Model at Lucas Oil Raceway on Friday. He’ll close out his week at Anderson Speedway on Saturday night in the Pro Late Model in the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour where he also leads the points.

For more information on Cody Coughlin and Team JEGS, visit www.teamjegs.com and follow Cody on Twitter, @Cody_Coughlin. Follow Team JEGS on Twitter, @TeamJEGS, and “Like” JEGS Performance on Facebook. Also be sure to check out Cody’s new website, www.codycoughlin.com.

Coughlin Scores Sweet Salem Win on Father’s Day Weekend

On Mother’s Day Weekend Cody Coughlin went to victory lane at Indiana’s Anderson Speedway. On Father’s Day Weekend Coughlin did the same, but this time on the high-banked half-mile of Salem Speedway in Indiana.

Coughlin set a track record in qualifying with a time of 16.96 seconds. He started from the 10th position after the invert, and quickly started coming through the field.

It took just one lap for the Joe Gibbs Racing Development Driver to gain four spots. After that he slowly and methodically worked his way through the top five before taking over the lead with about 20 laps remaining.

From there Coughlin stayed smooth on multiple restarts to score his fourth Late Model win of the season and first JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour win this year.

“This is the first time I’ve ever scored a second win at a race track,” said Coughlin. “It’s becoming one of my favorite tracks. This was awesome. We’ll just keep working hard and go on to the next one and try to do the same.”

The only moment that caused a bit of concern for Coughlin happened as he was coming to take the white flag. A lapped car just ahead of him had a rear tire come off the car right in front of Coughlin, though Coughlin was able to avoid it.

“I was beginning to think that this one wasn’t meant to be,” said the 20 year-old. “Thankfully we saved enough throughout the race that I was able to get it done on those late restarts and get the win.”

With the win on Saturday night, Coughlin has swept this year’s weekends honoring parents by winning on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day weekends.

“That’s really cool,” Coughlin said. “That didn’t even occur to me until someone said it, but to do that is really cool. My parents have given so much for me throughout my life, so to repay them in any small way with these wins means a lot to me and I know it does to them too.”

Coughlin, the dual CRA points leader, held off his crew chief Jack Smith, who was charging hard from the rear of the field.

“I knew Jack was fast, especially on short runs,” said Coughlin. “That was what we plan to do is run one-two when we come to these places.

“I’m so thankful to have Jack as my crew chief, and have my whole team behind me. My team manager, Kevin (Hamlin) works so hard and just celebrated a birthday yesterday, so happy birthday to him. Kevin, Scott (Wimmer, spotter) and Dave (Holt, crew member) are amazing guys and I’m glad they’re on my team. Of course I have to thank our Lord and Savior for the blessings he continues to give my family.”

Daniel Suárez Captures First Career Victory

Daniel Suárez earned his first career NASCAR XFINITY Series win on Saturday at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan, becoming the first Mexican-born driver to capture a NASCAR national series victory.

With the victory, Suárez clinches a spot in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase.

Suárez, a graduate of both the NASCAR Drive for Diversity and NASCAR Next programs, has a accomplished a long list of accolades since joining NASCAR in 2011. Last season, he became the first Mexican driver to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award, finishing fifth in the championship standings. This season, Suárez became the first foreign-born driver to lead the points in any of the three NASCAR national Series, topping the NASCAR XFINITY Series standings for six consecutive weeks. He is the current points leader in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, the series where “Names Are Made.”

Suárez, 24, has quickly climbed the NASCAR ladder system throughout his career, with full-time stops in the NASCAR Mexico Series and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East before joining the NASCAR XFINITY Series with Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2015 season.

During his four years (2011-14) in the NASCAR Mexico Series, Suárez won 10 races and finished in the top 10 in championship points in all four of his seasons, including a runner-up championship finish in 2013.

In two full-time seasons in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, Suárez won three races and finished third in the final standings in 2013.

Suárez had scored six runner-up finishes in the national series prior to his win on Saturday.

With the victory, Suárez becomes only the fifth Latino driver to win a NASCAR national series race, joining Frank Mundy, Juan Pablo Montoya, Aric Almirola and Nelson Piquet Jr.

NASCAR Next is an industry-wide initiative designed to spotlight to best and brightest rising young stars in racing. NASCAR Drive for Diversity, operated by Rev Racing, is an academy-style development program for female and multicultural drivers and crew members who have the potential and determination to succeed at the highest levels of NASCAR.

Race Report: Charlotte

Denny Hamlin led Joe Gibbs Racing with a fourth-place finish in tonight’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. All four JGR teams spent a majority of the night racing inside the top ten although only Matt Kenseth would manage to join Hamlin in such a position taking the checkered flag in seventh, while two pit road speeding penalties resulted in an 18th-place finish for Carl Edwards and a late-race accident left Kyle Busch in 33rd.

Denny Hamlin started the No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota from the fourth position and was running third at lap 100. He would fall back outside the top five but was running seventh at lap 200. He would restart sixth on a lap 209 restart and was holding onto the eighth position at lap 250. The FedEx crew would gain him a spot during a round of green flag stops and he was seventh at lap 260. Hamlin was fifth with 100 laps to go following another round of green flag stops. A caution with just over 60 laps remaining would bring the field back down to pit road under caution and the FedEx crew would put Hamlin back out fifth for the restart. He would gain a spot to run fourth and managed to hold that position all the way to the finish.

Matt Kenseth started the No. 20 DEWALT Toyota in the 27th position and patiently raced his way up to 15th over the first 100 laps. He would enter the top ten on lap 141. Kenseth would receive hard contact from the 3 car while on pit road during a stop on lap 166. Although there was some damage to the left side of his DEWALT Camry it wouldn’t cost him any significant track position and he continued to hold the 10th position at lap 200. Kenseth would line up eighth for a restart on lap 209 but got shuffled back to run 13th. He would climb back to 10th by lap 260 following a round of green flag pit stops. Kenseth was sixth with 100 laps to go following another round of green flag pit stops. A caution with just over 60 laps remaining would bring the field back down to pit road under caution and the DEWALT crew would put Kenseth back out sixth for the restart. He would go on to finish in seventh.

Carl Edwards started the No. 19 Subway Toyota from the ninth position and was able to hold it through the opening 100 laps. He would continue to run consistent laps and was up to sixth at the halfway mark. He would restart fifth on lap 209 and was able to gain one spot into fourth. Edwards was up to second following a round of green flag pit stops on lap 256. NASCAR would rule that the 19 was too fast entering the pits during a round of green flag pit stops just prior to lap 300 forcing him to do a pass through penalty. Unfortunately Edwards was too fast again while serving the penalty and had to return to pit road. He would fall a lap down to the leaders during the process. The Subway team would take the wave around to get back on the lead lap for a restart with 56 laps remaining. Edwards was 17th when he took the green again but unfortunately the caution needed did not come and the No. 19 would have to come to pit road for fuel with 30 laps remaining. That would leave him a lap down once again and with no further cautions he would go on to finish 18th.

Kyle Busch qualified the No. 18 M&M’S Red-White-Blue Toyota in the 16th position and was able to patiently work his way up to 12th over the first 100 laps. He would battle a tight handling race car throughout the first half of the race and was 18th for a restart on lap 209. Busch would jump up to 12th on the restart. The M&M’S crew would gain him additional spots during around of green flag pit stops and Busch was up to eighth by lap 260. Busch was ninth with 100 laps to go following another round of green flag pit stops. A caution with just over 60 laps remaining would bring the field back down to pit road under caution and the M&M’S crew would put Busch back out ninth for the restart. He was holding steady in the top 10 with less than 10 laps remaining when the M&M’S Camry slid up the track and into the outside wall. Busch would take the car to the garage and he would officially be scored in 33rd.

Toyota teammate Martin Truex, Jr. of Furniture Row Racing captured the win, followed by Kevin Harvick in second, Jimmie Johnson third, Hamlin fourth and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top five. There were four cautions for a total of 19 laps and nine lead changes among four different drivers.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads north to the tricky triangle at Pocono Raceway next Sunday, June 5. Live coverage on Fox Sports 1 will start Sunday, June 5 at Noon (race starts at 1 PM ET). The race will also be carried on Sirius NASCAR radio channel 90.