Harvick takes Texas to clinch championship spot

Annette Crawford
November 7, 2018

Kevin Harvick gave the checkered flag to a young fan he brought onto the track to take a selfie - one with the winning driver and auto that will have a shot at another NASCAR Cup championship.

Kevin Harvick had a dominating day at the Texas Motor Speedway Sunday and won the Triple-A Texas 500. He swept both stages and led a race-high 177 laps.

The win earns Harvick an automatic spot in the Championship 4 playoff finale at Homestead. He cleared Blaney on the first restart but lost the lead on the second one and had to track Blaney down to take the lead back. Harvick said that he thought if he could prevent him from concluding the corner, he could drive back by him. "It all worked out".

Stewart-Haas Racing driver Kevin Harvick becomes the second driver to lock in for the Championship 4 at Homestead, joining Joey Logano. Kevin Harvick handed over the checkered flag to young fan he called on to the track to pose for a selfies, one with the triumphant driver and auto that will have a shot at another NASCAR Cup championship.

Kyle Busch, also a seven-time victor this year, and defending Cup champion Martin Truex Jr. are among the other six title contenders.

Below the cutline after Texas are Kurt Busch (-25 point from fourth), Chase Elliott (-39), Aric Almirola (-57) and Bowyer (-73).

Of those only Logano was a factor as he led 54 laps.

Kyle Busch ran into similar difficulties, dealing with a speeding penalty early in the race, following with an unscheduled pit stop due to a loose wheel later on.

Bowyer was involved in first-lap rub with Denny Hamlin.

After the first of the late restarts, Harvick was on the inside and was able to keep Blaney from clearing him on the backstretch.

Harvick took the top line on the restart, and after Blaney pulled slightly ahead, Harvick rocketed past him and held on for the victory. Blaney was the only challenger he really had, and that only came on restarts. Like I told you guys before the race, we don't race for points. "I'm glad we got to win again here", he said. I figured when he took the top, it was going to take a really good push and position into 1 to have a prayer at it. "He motored around me".

Truex had to start at the rear of the field because of an engine change.

A caution with 38 laps to go created an interesting kink in the pit strategy of many who debated whether or not to pit for tires and fuel, that being the looming question mark throughout Sunday's race.

Harvick started on the inside on restarts on laps 303 and 311.

"We've been working day after day to make speed", Harvick explained after the checkered flag.

Logano's differing pit strategy kept his rivals guessing late into the race.

"He just continues to make things harder on himself".

"That last restart I knew I needed to pick the top", Harvick said after the race.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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