Kyle Busch's once longshot bid to earn Chase for the Sprint Cup eligibility continues to become increasingly likely with each passing race.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver won Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, his third victory in four weeks. The win moved Busch 58 points behind 30th position in the standings, which is where he must reach to qualify for the Chase with seven regular season races remaining.
Busch outran Brad Keselowski on a restart with 43 laps to go and was never seriously challenged thereafter. Kevin Harvick finished third, Joey Logano fourth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. fifth.
"We just have to keep doing our deal every weekend and it's been getting better and better," Busch said. "It's certainly the right thing to do is to win races and to gather those points, but to do it in the fashion we have been -- just winning these things, that's just spectacular and that's awesome."
Harvick and Keselowski, who led a race-high 101 laps, assumed control of the race in the second half, as the two were faster than Busch over long green flag runs. The turning point came when Busch had to make his final pit stop early due to a tire he thought was going flat.
After pitting, Busch was a lap down, but as Harvick and Keselowski jostled for the lead, Busch took advantage of his fresher tires by completing a daring pass to un-lap himself. And just after moving around Harvick and Keselowski, a caution fell on Lap 252 for fluid on the track, which handed Busch the lead when everyone else pitted.
When the race resumed with 43 laps remaining, Busch got the jump on Keselowski and never looked back. The race finished under caution when Alex Bowman crashed in Turn 2.
"We got a lucky break and I hauled butt man, those five laps I ran were five qualifying laps through traffic trying to get back up to the front and pass Harvick to stay on the lead lap," Busch said. "That was our saving bucket right there. That was what we needed to do."
That Busch is scrambling to make NASCAR's playoffs is a consequence of him missing the first 11 races of the season with a broken right leg and left foot. The injuries occurred when he crashed during a February Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway, the day before the season-opening Daytona 500.
Busch has three wins in eight starts since returning Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. His other victories came last week at Kentucky Speedway and June 28 at Sonoma Raceway. On the strength of consecutive wins, Busch has gained 70 points over the past two weeks
"This is such a dream come true," Busch said. "Who would have ever thought with me coming back after my rehabilitation and everything that I'd be able to win three races like this."
Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Austin Dillon, Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch completed the top 10 finishers.