Date: July 17, 2023
Event: Crayon 301 (Round 20 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (1.058-mile oval)
Format: 301 laps, broken into three stages (70 laps/115 laps/116 laps)
Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr., of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr., of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Martin Truex Jr., of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
SHR Race Finish:
● Aric Almirola (Started 3rd, Finished 34th / Accident, completed 168 of 301 laps)
● Aric Almirola (27th with 327 points, 340 out of first)
● Almirola finished fourth in Stage 1 to earn seven bonus points.
● Almirola led once for four laps, increasing his laps led total at New Hampshire to 85. He was running second on lap 169 when a loose right-rear wheel came off his racecar and sent him into the turn two wall, ending his day.
● Martin Truex Jr., won the Crayon 301 to score his 34th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his third of the season and his first at New Hampshire. His margin over second-place Joey Logano was .396 of a second.
● There were eight caution periods for a total of 41 laps.
● Twenty-seven of the 36 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
● Truex leaves New Hampshire as the new championship leader with a 17-point advantage over second-place William Byron.
“I thought it (the right-rear) felt a little bit awkward leaving pit road, but then after that, working my tires in and going through the gears before the restart, you know… I spun the tires a few times – everything felt normal. I didn’t really have any concerns going into the restart, and then, obviously, the right-rear wheel came off. So, just really, really disappointed. This race team has been working so hard to bring fast race cars to the track. I’m so proud of everybody – Drew (Blickensderfer, crew chief) and all the guys on our team. We’re not capitalizing when we have cars capable of running up front. Just frustrating… disappointing… all the words you can use to describe being upset is certainly where we are. I hate it. I hate it for Smithfield. I hate it for Ford… Mobil 1, HighPoint.com, Go Bowling – everybody that puts so much into this program that we can’t get results.” – Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang.
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the HighPoint.com 400 on Sunday, July 23 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The race begins at 2:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by USA and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.