A NASCAR official walks through the garage area in the rain before the NASCAR Cup Series auto race Sunday, July 22, 2018, at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

The Latest: Harvick wins at New Hampshire in thriller

July 22, 2018 - 6:27 pm

LOUDON, N.H. (AP) — The Latest on the NASCAR Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

Kevin Harvick used a bump-and-run on Kyle Busch with seven laps left in a thrilling battle of two of NASCAR's dominant drivers to win Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Harvick put his Ford bumper on the left side of Busch's Toyota and nudged the leader out of the way in the corner for the move of the race in another stellar showing for the leader of the Big Three.

Harvick won for the sixth time this season and went 1-2 in some order with Busch for the ninth time. Busch has five wins and Martin Truex Jr. has four to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. Truex finished fourth.

Aric Almirola, having a career year in the No. 10 Ford, finished third. Almirola led for more than 40 laps and had his second career win in sight but was derailed by a poor pit stop and a botched restart that cost him.

Most drivers have to be perfect this season to catch either of the Big Three.

Harvick was in New Hampshire.

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6 p.m.

Chase Elliott raced to his first stage victory of the season, holding the lead at New Hampshire with one more stage left.

Elliott won only the third stage of the season for slumping Chevrolet. Elliott, son of NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Bill Elliott, is looking for his first career win. He became the first Hendrick Motorsports driver to win a stage all season. He passed Martin Truex Jr. for the lead during the stage.

Pole sitter Kurt Busch was second.

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5:15 p.m.

Martin Truex Jr. won the first stage of the Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Truex, Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick have 14 of this season's 19 victories. Harvick and Busch each have five, Truex has four.

Truex is winless in 24 career Cup starts at New Hampshire and posted a career-best third-place finish in the July 2007 and 2017 races. Truex would reach a career milestone with a win — he's never won Cup races in consecutive weeks. He won last week at Kentucky.

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The NASCAR Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway has started after a rain delay of more than three hours.

The race was already moved up an hour to 1 p.m. EDT because of the threat of storms. NASCAR had the track drying Air Titans on standby for when the rain stopped and driver introductions were on hold.

Night racing was not an option because the track does not have lights. The race would need to reach 150 laps to become official. The race is scheduled for 301 laps.

Kurt Busch starts on the pole at New Hampshire and Denny Hamlin is the defending race winner.

Martinsville and Bristol were postponed by rain this season and run on Monday.

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