Harvick Earns Shot at NASCAR Title With Victory in Texas

NASCAR Truck Series

NASCAR Truck Series

Ryan Blaney was the runner-up.

Harvick and Blaney were the protagonists on restarts following the day's sixth, seventh and eighth caution periods beginning on Lap 298. 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. In the meanwhile, they got to the backstretch; Harvick had propelled his number 4 Stewart-Haas Ford in front of Blaney which ultimately led to the eighth victory of this season and 45th overall.

Joey Logano secured his spot in the Championship 4 last week with a controversial win at Martinsville.

Kyle Busch sits +25 above the cutline and Martin Truex Jr is only +25 above the cutline.

Kevin Harvick had a dominating day at the Texas Motor Speedway Sunday and won the Triple-A Texas 500. The race will determine the other two drivers in the championship four. The 2017 NASCAR Cup Series champion showed his motivation that was sparked by last week's playoff finish where he and Logano clashed, forcing him to relinquish the lead and end up in third. Clint Bowyer starts second, and Kevin Harvick will start third.

The second stage ended on lap 170 of the scheduled 334-lap race.

"If he would have went in there on my right rear I would have been OK but we went in side-by-side and if I sailed off as fast as he did I would have sailed off and wrecked us both".

He passed inspection on the third try, and should have been able to start in his original qualifying spot. Jimmie Johnson has seven wins at Texas, the most all time.

Harvick led 53 of the first 85 laps of the scheduled 334-lap race Sunday at the 1 ½-mile track. "The Vankor 350 provides them with a larger presence during next spring's NASCAR tripleheader weekend and the company also will maintain a presence during the fall NASCAR Playoffs doubleheader weekend".

Joey Logano already has clinched one of the four championship-contending spots at Homestead in two weeks.

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

For several laps in the closing of the First Data 500, Martin Truex Jr. was following Logano so closely that he could smell Logano's cologne.

Championship contenders Martin Truex Jr. and Aric Almirola are moving up after having to start Sunday at the rear of the field for the NASCAR Cup race at Texas.

But the gritty Truex eventually got one lap back and when a caution came out on Lap 296 he was back on the lead lap as the Free Pass recipient.

"They were hard. They were challenging", Blaney said about the restarts.

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. It is the 2014 NASCAR Cup champion's fourth appearance in the playoff finale in the past five seasons. Denny Hamlin is also pitting for issues.

Kyle Busch and Truex Jr. now occupy the two final transfer positions to the Championship 4 based off points going to Phoenix.

Truex had qualified 13th but moved to the back of the field for the start of Sunday's race.

What made matters worse for the No. 78 team was when Truex came down pit road, he was penalized for driving through pit boxes.

At the end of Lap 171, it was Harvick who won yet another stage-his 18th of the year. The drivers head to Phoenix this weekend.

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