Harvick wins at Texas to earn title chance

Harvick celebrates his first win in Texas

Kevin Harvick has passed Martin Truex Jr. with 10 laps to run to win the AAA Texas 500 and book himself a place in the Championship Four at the final race at Homestead-Miami.

Harvick joins Kyle Busch as race winners who qualify, while Truex Jr.’s outstanding season and run through the play-offs has him into the final on points.

It means next week’s race at Phoenix will see Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney and Jimmie Johnson all fight for the final spot in the championship showdown.

The race looked set to go the way of Truex, who led 103 laps, but Harvick was hooked-up over the final 20 laps as he stormed to the rear bumper. Then he showed plenty of patience as Truex got into traffic. Truex only got slightly loose and that was all it needed for Harvick to make his race winning move.

“Damn, it’s good to be in Victory Lane here in Texas,” Harvick said.

“I knew I had a really good car. I knew I had to do something different. I started driving a whole lot deeper in (Turn) 1, a whole lot deeper. I started doing that earlier in the race, but I was afraid I didn’t have the brakes to continue to do that all day.

“So I waited until the end and was able to get on the outside of Martin and got him loose and brushed across the back of him and was able to get by on the outside down there.

“Just really proud of everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing.”

Although disappointed not to win, Truex’s performance on mile-and-half tracks has seen him win six of the 10 races contested. The final event of the season is on a mile-and-a-half at Homestead-Miami.

The race had just the one major incident when Kyle Larson had a hard hit with 50 laps to run, which saw the back of the car go up in flames. He walked away from the crash; his third-straight DNF.

NASCAR put out the red flag for the clean-up and assessment of the SAFER barriers.

As good as it was for Harvick, the same can’t be said for Johnson who finished back in 27th, three laps down. A combination of poor balance, a loose wheel and contact all added to a tough day. It means he can only make the Championship Four with a victory next weekend in Phoenix.

It was a tough day for the Hendrick cars with Dale Earnhardt Jr. having a solid race end when he broken a hub.

The other major news to come out of the race weekend is that Matt Kenseth has declared he will not start the 2018 NASCAR season after not securing a top ride. Joe Gibbs Racing announced earlier in the year that Erik Jones will drive the #20 in 2018. Kenseth, who finished fourth in Texas, says he is not retiring from racing, but will only race again if the right opportunity arises.

VIDEO: Race recap

VIDEO: Harvick speaks after the race

RESULTS: AAA 500 – Texas Motor Speedway

Pos # Driver Make Laps Laps Led
1 4  Kevin Harvick Ford 334 34
2 78  Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 334 103
3 11  Denny Hamlin Toyota 334 62
4 20  Matt Kenseth Toyota 334 26
5 2  Brad Keselowski Ford 334
6 21  Ryan Blaney Ford 334
7 22  Joey Logano Ford 334 1
8 24  Chase Elliott Chevrolet 334 1
9 41  Kurt Busch Ford 334
10 77  Erik Jones Toyota 334
11 5  Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 334 2
12 17  Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 334
13 3  Austin Dillon Chevrolet 334 1
14 19  Daniel Suarez Toyota 334
15 43  Aric Almirola Ford 334
16 47  A.J. Allmendinger Chevrolet 334
17 10  Danica Patrick Ford 333
18 1  Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 333
19 18  Kyle Busch Toyota 333 6
20 31  Ryan Newman Chevrolet 333 1
21 95  Michael McDowell Chevrolet 333 3
22 37  Chris Buescher Chevrolet 333
23 27  Paul Menard Chevrolet 332
24 13  Ty Dillon Chevrolet 332
25 32  Matt DiBenedetto Ford 332
26 34  Landon Cassill Ford 331
27 48  Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 331
28 6  Trevor Bayne Ford 330
29 72  Cole Whitt Chevrolet 330
30 38  David Ragan Ford 329
31 15  Reed Sorenson Chevrolet 325
32 7  Joey Gase Chevrolet 322
33 33  Jeffrey Earnhardt Chevrolet 322
34 51  Ray Black Jr. Chevrolet 305
35 88  Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 304 2
36 14  Clint Bowyer Ford 303
37 42  Kyle Larson Chevrolet 282 70
38 66  David Starr Chevrolet 237
39 23  Corey Lajoie Toyota 227
40 83  Gray Gaulding Toyota 159

STANDINGS

Pos
Driver
Pts
Behind
Wins
Starts
Top 5’s
Top 10’s
Poles
1
Martin Truex Jr.
4,168
Leader
7
34
17
24
3
2
Kyle Busch
4,118
-50
5
34
13
20
8
3
Kevin Harvick
4,112
-56
2
34
12
21
4
4
Brad Keselowski
4,111
-57
3
34
15
20
2
5
Denny Hamlin
4,092
-76
2
34
15
21
1
6
Ryan Blaney
4,089
-79
1
34
4
14
1
7
Chase Elliott
4,062
-106
0
34
10
19
1
8
Jimmie Johnson
4,060
-108
3
34
4
11
0
9
Matt Kenseth
2,255
-1,913
0
34
9
16
2
10
Kyle Larson
2,254
-1,914
4
34
14
19
3
11
Kurt Busch
2,177
-1,991
1
34
6
15
1
12
Kasey Kahne
2,176
-1,992
1
34
3
6
0
13
Austin Dillon
2,175
-1,993
1
34
3
4
0
14
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
2,171
-1,997
2
34
4
8
1
15
Jamie McMurray
2,165
-2,003
0
34
3
16
0
16
Ryan Newman
2,147
-2,021
1
34
7
12
0
17
Joey Logano
869
-3,299
1
34
10
16
2
18
Clint Bowyer
820
-3,348
0
34
6
13
0
19
Erik Jones
802
-3,366
0
34
4
13
1
20
Daniel Suarez
755
-3,413
0
34
1
12
0
21
Trevor Bayne
641
-3,527
0
34
2
6
0
22
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
629
-3,539
0
34
1
7
2
23
Paul Menard
588
-3,580
0
34
2
3
0
24
Ty Dillon
556
-3,612
0
34
0
0
0
25
Chris Buescher
546
-3,622
0
34
0
4
0
26
Michael McDowell
514
-3,654
0
34
1
1
0
27
Danica Patrick
498
-3,670
0
34
0
1
0
28
AJ Allmendinger
494
-3,674
0
34
1
5
0
29
Aric Almirola
455
-3,713
0
27
3
5
0
30
David Ragan
423
-3,745
0
34
0
3
0
31
Landon Cassill
355
-3,813
0
34
0
0
0
32
Matt DiBenedetto
346
-3,822
0
34
0
2
0
33
Cole Whitt
312
-3,856
0
34
0
0
0
34
Corey LaJoie
217
-3,951
0
30
0
0
0
35
Gray Gaulding
164
-4,004
0
27
0
1
0
36
Reed Sorenson
148
-4,020
0
27
0
0
0
37
Jeffrey Earnhardt
132
-4,036
0
32
0
0
0
38
Derrike Cope
37
-4,131
0
14
0
0
0
39
Michael Waltrip
29
-4,139
0
1
0
1
0
40
Billy Johnson
15
-4,153
0
1
0
0
0
41
Boris Said
15
-4,153
0
2
0
0
0
42
Gary Klutt
6
-4,162
0
1
0
0
0
43
D.J. Kennington
6
-4,162
0
3
0
0
0
44
Cody Ware
6
-4,162
0
5
0
0
0
45
Alon Day
5
-4,163
0
1
0
0
0
46
Stephen Leicht
5
-4,163
0
1
0
0
0
47
Kevin O’Connell
4
-4,164
0
1
0
0
0
48
Tommy Regan
3
-4,165
0
1
0
0
0
49
Hermie Sadler
3
-4,165
0
1
0
0
0
50
Kyle Weatherman
2
-4,166
0
1
0
0
0
51
Brendan Gaughan
0
-4,168
0
4
0
1
0
52
Darrell Wallace Jr.
0
-4,168
0
4
0
0
0
53
Timmy Hill
0
-4,168
0
15
0
0
0
54
Elliott Sadler
0
-4,168
0
3
0
0
0
55
Ross Chastain
0
-4,168
0
2
0
0
0
56
Joey Gase
0
-4,168
0
7
0
0
0
57
Regan Smith
0
-4,168
0
2
0
0
0
58
JJ Yeley
0
-4,168
0
4
0
0
0
59
Ryan Sieg
0
-4,168
0
5
0
0
0
60
B.J. McLeod
0
-4,168
0
8
0
0
0
61
Brett Moffitt
0
-4,168
0
7
0
0
0
62
Carl Long
0
-4,168
0
3
0
0
0
63
Ray Black II
0
-4,168
0
2
0
0
0
64
Josh Bilicki
0
-4,168
0
2
0
0
0
65
David Starr
0
-4,168
0
1
0
0
0
66
Mark Thompson
0
-4,168
0
1
0
0
0
67
Justin Marks
0
-4,168
0
1
0
0
0

Join the discussion below in the Speedcafe.com comments section

Please note: Speedcafe.com reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]