Final practice results: Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Kevin Harvick likely needs a win to advance to the next round of the Chase and he ended Saturday's final practice atop the speed charts. 

Robert Laberge

Practice is over and soon it will be time to race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. And all weekend long so far, two names have dominated the proceedings: Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick.

In Friday’s lone practice session, Edwards was fastest in his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

In qualifying, Edwards won the pole and Harvick qualified second in his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet.

In Saturday morning’s opening practice, it was Edwards and Harvick 1-2 again.

And in the final Happy Hour round of practice in advance of Sunday’s Sylvania 300, the fastest car belonged to Harvick, who ran 134.577 miles per hour. Edwards was second-fast for much of the session, but wound up fifth. Edwards’ JGR teammate Kyle Busch, the July winner here, finished second at 134.150 mph. Brad Keselowski, who won here in July 2014 was third ahead of six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, who wound up fourth, just ahead of Edwards.  

Clearly, Harvick and Edwards are the class of the field at New Hampshire.

After finishing 42nd at Chicagoland Speedway last week, Harvick knows a victory would go a long way towards his title defense. After next week’s race at Dover International Speedway, the bottom four drivers will be eliminated from championship contention and right now Harvick is ranked 15th of 16 Chase drivers. But if he wins either of the next two races, Harvick will automatically advance to the Contender Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

"I think you still have to go out with the mentality of trying to win a race. I think everybody around us knows that," said Harvick. "I think they are very aware of the aggressive nature that we need to go after that win."

He will try to do just that on Sunday.

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