Harvick Earns Shot at NASCAR Title With Victory in Texas

Kyle Busch Following the Blueprint to Homestead

Kyle Busch Following the Blueprint to Homestead

However, any of the eight remaining playoff drivers can qualify for the final four by winning next week at Phoenix, giving Kurt Busch, Elliott, Aric Almirola, and Clint Bowyer a fighting chance of breaking through and eliminating one of the "Big Three" that have dominated the NASCAR season. "Stewart-Haas" Aric Almirola also approached the top three before pitting on Lap 282. We'll go there and race hard again and see what we can do.

Blaney held on to finish second. Ryan Blaney was the runner-up. "I think as you've seen, the change to Ford, which everybody thought we were insane, I think the bottom line is we've got more resources and things we can keep within our own walls". "It all worked out".

With only one race remaining until the Championship deciding race at Homestead, only two spots remain in the championship four as Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick have punched their tickets with wins at Martinsville and Texas.

This time, there was no late-race glitch to interrupt Kevin Harvick's domination of a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race. 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 vehicle that will have a shot at another NASCAR Cup championship.

Kyle Busch, a seven-time victor this year, and defending Cup champion Martin Truex Jr. are among the other six title contenders. Truex Jr.is the driver who is now on the bubble right above the Championship 4 cut line, as he trails Busch by three points.

Logano finished third a week after securing his playoff spot. Elliott was sixth, followed by Kurt Busch and Almirola, who had also gone to the rear at the start of the race for unapproved body modifications.

Kyle Busch was 17th and Bowyer 26th after starting on the front row but making contact with Denny Hamlin on the first lap. 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.

Kurt Busch (41) and Kevin Harvick (4) lead the pack down the front stretch on a restart during a NASCAR Cup auto race at Texas Motor Speedway, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, in Fort Worth, Texas.

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. That put him in position to line up where he wanted on the final restart after a Joey Gase accident brought out the eighth caution of the race.

"That last restart I knew I needed to pick the top", Harvick said. It's been either, we're in position to win, we've run up front all day, or something really stupid happens, or insane happens, like here in Texas. 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".

Defending Cup champion Martin Truex Jr., who had to start at the back of the field after an engine change, was fifth in the first stage, just ahead of Logano and Kyle Busch.

Truex had moved back to 15th in the 40-car field, and Almirola was 19th when a competition caution came out 30 laps into the scheduled 334-lap race.

Of those only Logano was a factor as he led 54 laps. "Happy about that for sure", he said. "If we don't make that call, I think (media) would be asking why we didn't". "The only difference is there's one less spot available". Logano already has a slot in the final four and Almirola believed Logano could have backed off a bit.

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

"I'm really, really proud of everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing for these cars we've had for five years now", Harvick said. "When Homestead comes around, if I'm not in, he'll know it".

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