Kevin Harvick (four) scored his first profession victory at Texas Motor Speedway Sunday.(Photo: Sarah Crabill, Getty Images)
FORT WORTH — Highlights of Sunday’s AAA Texas 500, the second race of the third spherical of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, at Texas Motor Speedway:
WINNER: Kevin Harvick handed Martin Truex Jr. with 9 laps remaining and held onto the result in take the checkered flag for his second win of the season and first at Texas. The victory for Harvick ensures him a spot within the closing 4 of the playoffs in two weeks at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Truex completed second, adopted by Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Brad Keselowski.
“Damn it;s good to be in victory lane here in Texas,” stated Harvick, the 2014 collection champion. “I knew I had a extremely good automotive, and I knew I wanted to do somethng completely different, and I began driving it into Turn 1 only a entire lot deeper. I noticed (Larson) doing that earlier within the race, and I used to be simply involved that I did not have the brakes to proceed doing that every one day. So I waited till the tip and was capable of get on the surface of Martin.
“I am actual happy with everybody at Stewart-Haas racing.”
With his second-place end, Truex has recorded sufficient factors to additionally clinch a berth within the championship 4. Truex and Harvick shall be joined by Kyle Busch, who received final weekend at Martinsville. The closing playoff spot shall be awarded subsequent weekend at Phoenix Raceway.
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JOHNSON’S FREE FALL: Seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson certified ninth on Friday and was 12th-fastesst within the closing apply on Saturday. Once the AAA Texas 500 began, nonetheless, he slowly started to drop additional again within the discipline. He went two laps down after making an unscheduled pit cease on Lap 68 due to a vibration. He was scored three laps down nicely earlier than the midpoint of the race. Johnson had received at this observe a document seven instances, the newest victory coming in April. Johnson completed 27th and enters Phoenix in eighth place, 51 factors outs of the fourth and closing slot within the finals.
FLAMMABLE: With 51 laps remaining, Kyle Larson spun and crashed exhausting into the surface wall between Turns 1 and a pair of. The rear of Larson’s No. 42 Chevrolet errupted in flames earlier than the automated exhaust system within the automotive put it out. For Larson, who was eradicated after the second spherical spherical of the playoffs when he blew an engine at Kansas Speedway, it’s the third consecutive DNF after crashing final weekend at Martinsville.
“It’s frustrating because I knew I had the best car,” Larson stated in a tv interview. “I can’t wait for the last lap at Homestead.”
The crash and fireplace introduced out a purple flag that lasted 10 minutes.
EARNHARDT’S WOES: Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove his No. 88 Chevrolet to the storage with 90 laps remaining. Earnhardt, who scored his first profession Cup Series victory on April 2, 2000 at this observe, and whose closing race right here was promoted on a number of billboards within the space, stated in a tv interview that his automotive had a problem with a wheel hub, the half within the automotive the place the wheel is bolted to the suspension.
Earnhardt, who introduced earlier this season that he’ll retire from full-time racing at season’s finish, returned to the observe 30 laps down.
STAGE 2: Kyle Larson, who began 11th and labored his approach as much as third by the tip of the primary stage, secured the second stage win at Lap 170. Larson led the ultimate 10 laps of the stage, which included two warning flags that totaled 10 laps. Larson led essentially the most laps (72) by the primary two phases.
STAGE 1: Kevin Harvick took the lead with 16 laps remaining within the first stage and held off Martin Truex Jr. to safe the stage that concluded on the 85th lap.
TROUBLE EARLY: Kyle Busch has nothing at stake within the closing two races forward of the finale Homestead-Miami Speedway for the reason that Joe Gibbs Racing driver locked in a spot to compete for the championship with a victory at Martinsville final weekend. That didn’t imply had he had no affect on these vying for the three different spots among the many closing 4 drivers, together with a driver he’s been feuding with for some time. Busch’s No. 18 Toyota rode up the observe moments after the inexperienced flag dropped and clipped Brad Keselowski, who entered Texas third within the standings. The collision compelled each drivers down pit lane.
Keselowski’s No. 2 Ford suffered a flat tire and had some minor rear injury. Busch’s crew pounded out injury to the entrance of his automotive. Keselowski, who started the race 10th, returned to the observe a lap down. Busch went two laps down. Both drivers finally made it again on the lead lap.
Busch stated he would “kill that (expletive)” Keselowski after the 2 collided at Watkins Glen in August. In September, the 2 jousted on Twitter after Keselowski lamented the benefit of Toyota groups.
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