Harvick earns his shot at NASCAR Cup title with win at Texas

Martin Truex Jr

Martin Truex Jr

The victory was Harvick's first since MI in August, and it broke a streak of bad luck during which the driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford led laps but failed to find Victory Lane, thanks to mechanical issues or pit road mistakes. Harvick was already starting to rebuild his lead - it had been almost 4 seconds before the caution - when another yellow flag came out. This bunched up the field and allowed Logano to line up beside Harvick where he would go around the No. 4 Ford driver on the outside, soon giving back the spot as Harvick remained true to the white line. Now Almirola is upset with Logano after one of the late restarts in Texas. Harvick led 177 of the 337 laps.

This time, there was no late-race glitch to interrupt Kevin Harvick's domination of a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race.

Keselowski's Team Penske crew played their cards right and moved to the front under caution.

"We were a third place auto and that restart there where we finally were in position we fought all day from the back and started at the tail and worked diligently all day to get up to the front and finally got ourselves in position to at least have a shot and race with those guys", Almirola said of the final restart of the day. Chase Elliot has entered the Top 10. Denny Hamlin is also pitting for issues.

Harvick was on the inside again for the next restart, before Blaney was able to get by him on the outside and into the lead. He also had a pass-through penalty during the race for driving through too many pit boxes, and was a lap down before getting that back one the first of the late cautions.

Then Harvick was off into the Texas sunset. Harvick, who started third, won the first stage and then followed it up with a win in the second stage. Kurt Busch and Erik Jones round out the top 3.

For drivers who do not win a race, a maximum of 55 points are on the table. The consequential caution soon ended but the race didn't run green for long as the No. 97 Toyota of David Starr spun, sending the contest into overtime.

He nearly won last week at Martinsville to ensure the chance for a championship repeat before Joey Logano's bump-and-run move on the last lap. If I sailed off in there as fast as he did, I would have got loose, wrecked us both.

"I don't know what genius chose to pave this place or take the banking out of [Turns] 1 and 2", Chase Elliot told reporters. We could have won every race here. "So, thank you guys!"

"The expectations are to win", Harvick told reporters.

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