Published: Sun, July 17, 2016
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

Busch gets win No. 82, dominates AutoLotto 200

Busch gets win No. 82, dominates AutoLotto 200

Busch led all but a handful of laps and dominated at New Hampshire to win the AutoLotto 200, extending his record for wins in NASCAR's second-tier series to 82.

Early in his debut season with Joe Gibbs Racing previous year, Carl Edwards had a rough time.

Johnson is a three-time victor at the Magic Mile, winning both races in 2003 and the 301 in 2010.

New Hampshire races a lot like the tracks in Phoenix and Richmond and drivers that have raced well at those two venues traditionally have good results at the one mile New Hampshire oval.

Busch finished second to six-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson in Friday's qualifying and will begin the race on the outside of the first row. NASCAR's top drivers will log over 300 miles in the race.

The July race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is one of the most significant on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule, and with good reason.

With just eight races until the field is set for the Chase, Ryan Newman, who hasn't won a race this season, says his third place finish last week at Kentucky, has his team well positioned this weekend at Loudon. He's the most winning driver there.

"I think we just weren't quite good enough for the 18", Jones said. I thought four tires would pay off for him, but it didn't.

"This race track for us seems pretty good over the years, and over the past few years we finally figured out our short track program and getting that going at Joe Gibbs Racing", said Busch before qualifying.

Kurt Busch will start fourth, followed by Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano, who led the first round of time trials at 133.166 miles per hour. He sits sixth in the Sprint Cup driver standings, 78 points behind leader Kevin Harvick. That should provide some motivation to get back to victory lane this weekend at New Hampshire.

Newgarden, who competes for Ed Carpenter Racing, was 16th after the first day of practice Friday, finishing in 1 minute, 2.7942 seconds. He drives part-time in the second-tier Xfinity Series for Earnhardt's JR Motorsports team.

"The beginning of past year, I didn't expect the changeover to JGR... it was a bigger deal than I expected", Edwards said on Fridayafternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The bottom line is that, halfway through the 2016 season, a broad consensus of competitors, stakeholders and fans is in agreement that the racing is the best they've seen in years and that NASCAR is on the right track with the direction of its competition package.

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