Kevin Harvick clinches Championship Birth with win at Texas

Written by Craig Balog
(Ft. Worth, Texas) It was a classic Texas duel between Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. at the AAA Texas 500. Harvick in the #4 Mobil 1 Ford squeezed by Truex Jr in the #78 Bass Pro Shop/Tracker Boats Toyota with 10 laps remaining to take home the victory at Texas Motor Speedway and here’s how it went down.

Stage 1 was full of action as there were 8 lead changes between 7 different drivers. Kurt Busch began the race on the pole position but was quickly passed by Denny Hamlin who led the first 46 laps. Brad Keselowski and Kyle Bush started off the race by making a quick pit stop after the first lap because of car trouble but later found their way back on the lead lap in stage 3. Jimmie Johnson also had an unscheduled pit stop because of car vibrations and he finished 28th in stage 1.  On lap 46 Kyle Larson passed Hamlin to take the lead and had the lead for nine laps, he ran pretty strong most of the race. Kevin Harvick won stage 1.

Denny Hamlin started stage 2 in the lead but almost ended up in the wall coming around turn 4 giving the lead back to Kevin Havick. On lap 92 Daniel Suarez nudged Kasey Kahne causing both cars to spin out around turn 2 resulting in the second caution of the day. Kyle Larson still running strong passed Harvick after the restart of the second caution. On lap 143 Joey Lagano was penalized for driving to fast in pit lane resulting in a pass thru. Dale Earnhardt Jr lead 3 laps while Larson won stage 2.

Matt Kenseth lead the beginning of the final stage through lap 184 then Martin Truex Jr turned it up the notch and stated taking control of the race. He led 107 laps in the final stage whereas he lead zero in the first two stages. On lap 179 the fourth caution flag came out as Landon Cassill spun out in turn 1. Kyle Bush who once was a lap down in stage 1 found himself in the lead on lap 228. Larson’s day would come to an end on lap 284 as his car caught on fire around turns 1 and 2.  From there Harvick and Truex Jr would battle it out for first and Harvick passed Truex Jr to win the race.

Next week the Monster Energy Nascar Cup series playoffs continues in Phoenix with Martin Truex Jr in first with 4,168 points and Kyle Bush 50 points behind him while Kevin Harvick in a respectful third only 56 behind the leader Truex Jr. It’s going to come down to the wire in Homestead two weeks from now in the championship race as the three drivers are within reach of each other to win the championship. Stay tuned at The SkyBoat to see who wins the championship.

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