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A gaggle of NASCAR drivers reveal the tracks they imagine present themselves the most important benefit in the course of the playoffs.
USA TODAY Sports

Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage, left, presents Kevin Harvick, middle, along with his race successful trophy in victory lane.(Photo: Jerome Miron, USA TODAY Sports)

FORT WORTH — Kevin Harvick began 29 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway and had gone winless, one thing that monitor president Eddie Gossage frequently introduced as much as him in a method or one other over time.

“It’s an ongoing joke,” Harvick mentioned. “You pull in the motorhome lot.  You see the bag sitting outside the door, handwritten note, surely there’s some wisecrack in there that refers to not being in victory lane.”

But Gossage was there on victory lane Sunday to greet Harvick, who handed Martin Truex Jr. with 10 laps to go within the AAA Texas 500 to badert not solely his first win on the 1½-mile oval, but in addition a slot among the many last 4 drivers who will compete for the title at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 19.

“It’s good timing,” Harvick mentioned.

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Truex, the sequence factors chief who completed second, additionally locked up a slot within the last 4 after accumulating an enormous factors lead all through the playoffs. Kyle Busch, who received final weekend in Martinsville, will be a part of them. That leaves one slot open come subsequent weekend’s race in Phoenix.

That victory at Texas actually bodes effectively for Harvick to badert is second profession Cup title at Homestead, a monitor — whereas totally different from Texas in lots of respects – can also be 1½ miles. Harvick received at Homestead in 2014, the identical yr he received his title.

PHOTOS: KEVIN HARVICK THROUGH THE YEARS

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“For us, Homestead has been great,” Harvick mentioned. “We’ve won some races there.  We’ve been ultra-competitive there.  It’s a very unique racetrack that is nothing like this one, that is nothing like any racetrack we go to, with the shape of the corners, the multiple variable banking.  The two ends of the racetrack are very different.”

Harvick began the race third on the grid, received the primary stage and completed second to Truex within the second, an indicator that his Stewart-Haas Racing Ford was greater than succesful on a day the place temperatures had been round 90 levels.

Harvick labored previous Truex within the closing laps as his Toyota bought free exiting the nook and held on to win by 1.58 seconds.

“Once he got in front of us, he was just gone,” Truex mentioned. “Nothing I could do.  Just one of those deals where he was quicker.  Got me in a bad spot, took advantage, and he was gone.”