2008 Lenox Industrial Tools 301
|Race 17 of 36 in the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season|
|Date||June 29, 2008|
|Location||New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire.|
|Course||Permanent racing facility
1.058 mi (1.703 km)
|Distance||284 laps, 300.472 mi (483.562 km)|
|Scheduled Distance||301 laps, 318.458 mi (512.508 km)|
|Driver||Patrick Carpentier||Gillett Evernham Motorsports|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Tony Stewart||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|Television in the United States|
|Network||Turner Network Television|
|Announcers||Bill Weber, Wally Dallenbach, Jr. and Kyle Petty|
The 2008 Lenox Industrial Tools 301 was the seventeenth race of the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, and was run on June 29 of that year at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, located in Loudon, New Hampshire. This was the first race under the new ownership of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. after purchasing the track from Bob Bahre in the autumn of 2007.
Televised coverage was handled by TNT starting at 12:30 PM US EDT, and radio being handled in their swan song at this facility by MRN starting at 1:15 PM US EDT and simulcast via Sirius Satellite Radio. Starting with the fall race, SMI-owned Performance Racing Network will carry the events at this track, as this was a result of a compromise on who had radio rights for the 2008 events (save for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race in September, as MRN holds all rights to that series.) This race also was planned to be the first year of an additional lap on the 1.058 miles (1.703 km) track, as suggested by race sponsor Lenox Industrial Tools that says that their employees "go the extra mile" for their customers. However, due to a severe thunderstorm that bore down on the region, the race was stopped with seventeen laps to go.
- Much of the news this week leading up to the race was about silly season for the 2009 season. For starters, Tony Stewart had rumors flying that he would leave Joe Gibbs Racing if all possible following this season and assume half-ownership in Haas CNC Racing, bringing Martin Truex, Jr. and the Bass Pro Shops sponsorship with him from Dale Earnhardt, Inc., or 2008 Daytona 500 champion Ryan Newman from Penske Racing and Stewart would assume UPS and/or Office Depot sponsorship. Stewart has one year left on his Gibbs contract. On Friday (6/27), Stewart said it was like "asking 'Are we there yet?'" and said that when the time comes (in this case, reports say at Indianapolis,) he will have an announcement.
- It was announced that Mark Martin would leave the #8 DEI U.S. Army Chevrolet after the season to allow Aric Almirola to become the full time driver in 2009. Rumors had been reported that he would replace Casey Mears at Hendrick Motorsports in the #5 Kellogg's/Carquest ride there, which was confirmed the following week at Daytona.
- Greg Biffle officially signed a new contract with Roush Fenway Racing and continue to drive the #16 3M Ford for three more seasons.
There were seven cautions in all, including one that involved an incident between points leader Kyle Busch and Juan Pablo Montoya after the yellow flag waved. Montoya broadsided Kyle Busch just after crossing the start-finish line in what turned out to be the last of several confrontations in the race between the two, and following the race, Montoya was penalized two laps for aggressive driving. A rainstorm shortened the race seventeen laps shy of the scheduled distance, and thanks to pit strategy and fuel mileage, Kurt Busch won the race, while Michael Waltrip had his best finish since winning the fall race at Talladega Superspeedway in 2003, and J.J. Yeley finished third.
|Top Ten Finishers|
|Pos.||Car #||Driver||Car Make||Team|
|1||2||Kurt Busch||Dodge||Penske Racing|
|2||55||Michael Waltrip||Toyota||Michael Waltrip Racing|
|3||96||J.J. Yeley||Toyota||Hall of Fame Racing|
|4||1||Martin Truex, Jr.||Chevrolet||Dale Earnhardt, Inc.|
|5||19||Elliott Sadler||Dodge||Gillett Evernham Motorsports|
|6||41||Reed Sorenson||Dodge||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|7||5||Casey Mears||Chevrolet||Hendrick Motorsports|
|8||11||Denny Hamlin||Toyota||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|9||48||Jimmie Johnson||Chevrolet||Hendrick Motorsports|
|10||43||Bobby Labonte||Dodge||Petty Enterprises|
NOTE: Race was cut short to 284 laps due to rain.