Kevin Harvick advances to Playoff finale with authoritative win at Texas

Ruben Hill
November 7, 2018

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. By time they got to the backstretch to start a green-white-checkered finish, Harvick had already cleared the field. But a caution for Joey Gase's spin with three laps remaining set up an overtime restart.

Of Harvick's 32 starts in the Lone Star State, his only two wins are the last two fall races to get into the final four.

The two drivers who now occupy these two spots are Joe Gibbs Racing's Kyle Busch and Furniture Row Racing's Martin Truex Jr. Chase Elliott (sixth), Kurt Busch (seventh), Aric Almirola (eighth) and Truex also finished in the top 10.

Aside from green-flag pit stops, Harvick again dominated the 85-lap stage and cruised to a almost 6-second lead over Ryan Blaney to claim the Stage 2 win. Kurt Busch found himself in third as a result, giving the Las Vegas-native an opportunity to advance in the running order. "I'm glad we got the win again here", he said.

Truex, who was close to clinching a title spot before that bump-and-run by Logano on the final lap to win at Martinsville last week, finished ninth after at Texas. Like I told you guys before the race, we don't race for points.

Logano flew off-line on the restart as Harvick got a stellar jump to beat Blaney. Blaney was the only challenger he really had, and that only came on restarts. We got by him one restart and I just couldn't hold him off. ... We're going to take the top and see what happens and obviously it worked out a little bit.

"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.

Of those only Logano was a factor as he led 54 laps. Kyle Busch was 17th and Bowyer 26th after starting on the front row but making contact with Denny Hamlin on the first lap. 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.

"I'm really, really proud of everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing for these cars we've had for five years now", Harvick said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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