CLEVELAND, Ohio — NASCAR’s second week of the 10-week ‘Chase’ is in New Hampshire today where the starting grid includes many familiar names up front, but favorite Kyle Busch relatively far back — for him — at No. 17. You can follow the action, starting at 2 p.m., on NBC Sports Net.
For all that has happened this year, one feat has yet to be accomplished. No driver has won twice at the same venue.
Kyle Busch, with four victories on the season, has one of them at New Hampshire. The challenge is to get another to boost his stock in the championship run. He has had a lot of recent success at the New England track including two career wins overall, and finishes of first, eighth, second, second and second in his last five starts on the oval.
Busch ranks fourth on the Chase Grid following his ninth-place finish at Chicagoland last weekend. But he is not the only driver who can make some history over the weekend, as the points race continues. For Jeff Gordon, it seems to be guaranteed.
When he takes Sunday’s green flag, (on NBCSN), Gordon becomes NASCAR’s consecutive starts leader with 789, surpassing Ricky Rudd for that honor.
Gordon, who is retiring after this season, has not missed a start since making his NASCAR career debut at Atlanta, Nov. 15, 1992. If you’re counting, that covers the last 22 years, 10 months and 12 days. Along the way Gordon has four NASCAR championships, 92 wins, 323 top fives, 467 top 10s and 80 poles. He sits 12th in the Chase Grid.
Here is what’s on tap for today:
When: 2 p.m.
Schedule: Today, 1:30 p.m. when race coverage begins, NBCSN-Live
Track: New Hampshire Motor Speedway, 1-mile oval.
Distance: 317.14 miles (300 laps)
Did you know: Two races remain in the Challenger Round of the Chase. When the round ends, the four winless drivers in the 16-driver Chase field with the least points will be eliminated.
Jeff Gordon sits in the 12th and final transfer spot. Denny Hamlin advanced to the Contender Round with a victory last week in Chicago.
Drivers who are a part of the 16 challengers with a win at New Hampshire are: Jimmie Johnson (3), Ryan Newman (3), Kurt Busch (3), Gordon (3), Clint Bowyer (2), Denny Hamlin (2), Kyle Busch (2), Brad Keselowski (1) and Kevin Harvick (1).
Next: Oct. 4 at Dover.