Kevin Harvick Wins Stage One of O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway

Written by Adrian Beecher
​NO LIMITS, TX — Four cars would have to start the race at the back of the field, William Byron in the No. 24 for an engine change, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the No. 17 for switching to a backup car, Matt DiBenedetto in the No. 32 for a transmission change and Kyle Larson in the No. 42 for failing pre-race inspection three times.

Starting on the pole after a shortened qualifying session, Kurt Busch led the field to the drop of the green flag to get the 2018 O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 underway at Texas Motor Speedway. However, it was Kevin Harvick taking the lead and taking the field to the start-finish line to the completion of lap 1.

Then on lap three, Alex Bowman in the No. 88 got loose in turn 4 after clipping the apron and took a 360 ride as Austin Dillon in the No. 3 slammed into Bowman with nowhere to go. Paul Menard in the No. 21 then hit Bowman and got pushed up the track and pushed Daniel Suarez in the No. 19 into the wall.

The field went back under green on lap seven with Harvick maintaining the lead until lap 44 as green flag pit stops cycled through. Denny Hamlin would take the lead over at this point.

During the green flag pit stops, Ryan Blaney in the No. 12 would be penalized for losing control of a tire.

12 laps later, Harvick would regain the lead. Hamlin would also be served a penalty for being too fast on pit lane, putting him a lap down.

Five laps before the end of the stage, running in second place, Martin Truex Jr. in the No. 78 blew a tire coming out of turn four and slammed straight into the wall. His car would come to a rest just in front of the pit road exit, blocking the field from being able to pit. This forced the field to end-stage one under caution, giving the stage victory to Kevin Harvick.

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