Kyle Busch in victory lane at New Hampshire

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Kurt Busch was unable to avoid his Stewart-Haas Racing teammate, drilling the side of Harvick's No. 4 Ford. Busch was credited with 37th and got one point for his efforts. "But I am happy that we had a fast vehicle today and the way we battled back to finish fifth". Some people are bigger fans of the latter than others, right Denny Hamlin.

With only one race left in the first round of the playoffs, Truex and Busch are not the only drivers with a ticket to the Round of 12. But with a half-lap remaining, Harvick went sliding out of Turn 2 after an apparent run-in with Dillon, causing a massive smoke cloud that also caught up Truex, who was leading and trying to work his way through lapped traffic.

That wreck occurred on the final lap of the first stage. We got a fifth last week and a second today with even better Stage points, so that was pretty much the day that we needed.

Race two of the NASCAR's playoffs takes us to New Hampshire. Locked into the Round of 12 with a victory last week at Chicagoland, Truex rallied back to finish fifth.

"It was a struggle for us all weekend", Stenhouse said. We just couldn't find speed, couldn't find the handle on the auto. "Hopefully, we have a little bit better vehicle, give ourselves a better chance to win".

Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing finished second, 2.6-seconds back, while Busch's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth was third.

"I felt like on really long runs, I was fairly equal to those guys in front of me", Larson said.

"We had a fast race vehicle that was definitely capable of winning", said Truex. "I'd say we've had two sub-par weeks, and we're still in this thing, so we'll regroup and get focused and go to Dover".

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. Truex attempted to free himself by backing up, but bumped into Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was also backing up. Driving forward, Earnhardt then clipped the left rear quarter panel of Truex's Toyota. "Obviously, a win would have been great, but second was just as good".

The opening stage went to the points leader, who followed up his win in the playoff opener last week by leading the final 36 laps of Stage 1 after overtaking the lead from pole-sitter Kyle Busch on Lap 40.

"I could not see anything and I was just approaching the smoke and I'm like, 'Oh no, where am I going to go?' I mean, literally I couldn't see anything." explained Truex about the accident. I just kind of like just kept slowing down and the 33 (Jeffrey Earnhardt) just came by me on the outside and hit me and spun me down through there, so just unfortunate, you know?

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