Kevin Harvick Wins Playoff Race at Texas and Secures a Place in the Championship Final Four at Homestead

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FORT WORTH, TX – RIS – Kevin Harvick started from the pole, went to the back of the field on an unusual pit penalty, but came through to win the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA Texas 500 on Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.  The win locked him into the championship two weeks from now at Miami-Homestead Speedway on November 17th.

Harvick led 119 laps to score his fourth win of the season and third straight fall playoff race at TMS.

“I am really proud of everyone on this team for all the work they put in this weekend,” Harvick said. “It takes everybody to make this thing go around,” Harvick said.

“As it got dark, it was really fast.”

It was a top three sweep for Stewart Haas Racing Ford Mustangs. Harvick led a 1-2-3 finish for Stewart-Haas Racing with Aric Almirola and Daniel Suarez finishing second and third, respectively.

“I am really proud of that effort. It’s just incredible,” Almirola said. “Kevin was too tough, too fast.”

Joey Logano and Alex Bowman rounded out the top five.

Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney, Kurt Busch and Erik Jones completed the first 10 finishers.

Truex Jr., Harvick, Kyle Busch and Logano are above the cutline in the playoffs.

Even though Harvick led 119 of the 334 laps (or 35.65 percent of the race), it wasn’t until the final stage that Harvick stayed in the lead comfortably until the finish.   

Chase Elliott’s playoff luck continued to be bad in Texas. A week after leaving Martinsville with a broken axel Elliott was out of contention on Sunday only a handful of laps into the race when he got loose and slammed the wall…Denny Hamlin was another Playoff driver who had a bad day after he spun through the infield grass. Hamlin’s spin on lap 81 landed him a 28th-place finish.  Brad Keselowski slid and hit the Turn 4 wall on lap 55 with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. doing the same right behind him and both drivers exited the race after a hard crash. Corey LaJoie had a pair of accidents with his second putting him out of the race just before the end of the first stage.

The race got of to a bad start with six cautions in the first stage.  Several drivers lost control of their cars trying to navigate through the traction compound applied on to the track surface with the third and fourth turns especially treacherous. Although things calmed down considerably in the second stage the nature of the race was one that really didn’t fall into a rhythm.

If Phoenix is his favorite track (where he will be racing next week), Texas is obviously not far behind.

Unofficial Results: 15th Annual AAA Texas 500, Texas Motor Speedway, November 3, 2019

Fin, St, Driver, Car, Laps, St1, St2, Tms Led, Laps Led, Playoff Pts, Pts, Status
1) 1, Kevin Harvick (P), No. 4 Busch Beer/Ducks Unlimited Ford, 334, 1, 6, 6, 119, 6, 55, Running
2) 6, Aric Almirola, No. 10 Smithfield Ford, 334, , 1, 4, 62, 1, 45, Running
3) 7, Daniel Suarez, No. 41 Walmart Family Mobile Ford, 334, , 8, 2, 25, , 37, Running
4) 11, Joey Logano (P), No. 22 AAA Insurance Ford, 334, , 5, 1, 5, , 39, Running
5) 5, Alex Bowman, No. 88 Valvoline Chevrolet, 334, 4, 7, 1, 11, , 43, Running
6) 17, Martin Truex Jr. (P), No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota, 334, , , , , , 31, Running
7) 12, Kyle Busch (P), No. 18 M&M's Toyota, 334, 5, 9, 2, 18, , 38, Running
8) 15, Ryan Blaney (P), No. 12 Wabash National Ford, 334, 9, , , , , 31, Running
9) 4, Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Chevrolet, 334, 7, , 1, 1, , 32, Running
10) 2, Erik Jones, No. 20 Sport Clips Toyota, 334, , 2, 5, 9, , 36, Running
11) 24, Clint Bowyer, No. 14 Mobil 1/Rush Truck Centers Ford, 334, 2, , 1, 36, , 35, Running
12) 13, Kyle Larson (P), No. 42 McDonald's Chevrolet, 334, 3, 4, , , , 40, Running
13) 21, Austin Dillon, No. 3 RigUp Chevrolet, 334, 6, , , , , 29, Running
14) 10, Matt DiBenedetto, No. 95 Procore Toyota, 334, , , , , , 23, Running
15) 25, Ryan Newman, No. 6 Roush Performance Ford, 333, , , , , , 22, Running
16) 16, Daniel Hemric #, No. 8 Cat Dozers Chevrolet, 333, 10, , , , , 22, Running
17) 18, William Byron, No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet, 333, , 10, 2, 8, , 21, Running
18) 19, Ty Dillon, No. 13 GEICO Military Chevrolet, 333, , , , , , 19, Running
19) 20, Chris Buescher, No. 37 Slim Jim Chevrolet, 333, , , , , , 18, Running
20) 31, Paul Menard, No. 21 Menards/Jack Links Ford, 333, , , , , , 17, Running
21) 29, John Hunter Nemechek(i), No. 36 Speedy Cash Ford, 333, , , , , , 0, Running
22) 30, * Parker Kligerman(i), No. 96 TRD 40th Anniversary Toyota, 332, , , , , , 0, Running
23) 28, Ryan Preece #, No. 47 Kroger Chevrolet, 331, 8, , , , , 17, Running
24) 22, Bubba Wallace, No. 43 Covert Auto Group Chevrolet, 331, , , , , , 13, Running
25) 27, Michael McDowell, No. 34 Love's Travel Stops Ford, 329, , , , , , 12, Running
26) 34, * JJ Yeley(i), No. 53 Factor One Source Pharmacy Ford, 329, , , , , , 0, Running
27) 32, Landon Cassill(i), No. 00 Pop-A-Lock Chevrolet, 328, , , , , , 0, Running
28) 3, Denny Hamlin (P), No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota, 328, , , , , , 9, Running
29) 38, Joe Nemechek(i), No. 15 Xchange of America Chevrolet, 327, , , , , , 0, Running
30) 39, Josh Bilicki(i), No. 51 Jacob Companies Chevrolet, 323, , , , , , 0, Running
31) 35, * Ross Chastain(i), No. 27 Low T Center Chevrolet, 319, , , , , , 0, Running
32) 14, Chase Elliott (P), No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, 312, , , , , , 5, Running
33) 37, Quin Houff, No. 77 Chevrolet, 202, , , , , , 4, Hub
34) 23, Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Chevrolet, 199, , 3, 1, 40, , 11, DVP
35) 26, David Ragan, No. 38 Mystik Lubricants Ford, 189, , , , , , 2, Accident
36) 36, Garrett Smithley(i), No. 52 Victory Lane/Kendall Oil Ford, 188, , , , , , 0, Accident
37) 40, * Timmy Hill(i), No. 66 TEX TALK Toyota, 156, , , , , , 0, Engine
38) 33, Corey LaJoie, No. 32 Schluter Systems Ford, 67, , , , , , 1, Accident
39) 8, Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Wurth Ford, 52, , , , , , 1, Accident
40) 9, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 17 Fastenal Ford, 52, , , , , , 1, Accident
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series, (#) Rookie, (P) Playoffs qualified

Time of Race: 3 Hrs, 44 Mins, 44 Secs.
Race Length: 334 Laps, 501 Miles

Average Speed: 133.759 MPH
Margin of Victory: 1.594 Seconds

Stage 1 Top 10: 4, 14, 42, 88, 18, 3, 1, 47, 12, 8

Stage 2 Top 10: 10, 20, 48, 42, 22, 4, 88, 41, 18, 24

Race Comments: Kevin Harvick won the 15th annual AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, his 49th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory.

Caution Flags: 11 for 56 laps;
Laps: 10-12 (No. 9 Incident in Turn 2 [None]);
16-19 (Debris in Turn 3 [15]);
44-47 (No. 32 Incident in Turn 4 [00]);
55-62 (No. 2 and 17 Incident in Turn 4 [66]);
73-76 (No. 32 Incident in Turn 3 [66]);
82-84 (No. 11 Incident on the frontstretch [27]);
87-95 (Stage 1 Conclusion [27]);
172-177 (Stage 2 Conclusion [19]);
187-190 (No. 48 Incident in Turn 2 [43]);
192-196 (No. 38 and 52 Incident in Turn 2 [36]);
243-248 (No. 43 Incident in Turn 2 [None]).

Lead Changes: 26 among 11 drivers;
K. Harvick (P) 0;
E. Jones 1;
K. Harvick (P) 2-12;
E. Jones 13-14;
K. Harvick (P) 15-45;
E. Jones 46-48;
C. Bowyer 49-84;
K. Harvick (P) 85-87;
A. Bowman 88-98;
J. Johnson 99-138;
A. Almirola 139-143;
D. Suarez 144-145;
E. Jones 146-147;
W. Byron 148-151;
K. Harvick (P) 152;
K. Busch 153;
K. Busch (P) 154-164;
A. Almirola 165-173;
E. Jones 174;
W. Byron 175-178;
D. Suarez 179-201;
A. Almirola 202-240;
J. Logano (P) 241-245;
A. Almirola 246-254;
K. Harvick (P) 255-306;
K. Busch (P) 307-313;
K. Harvick (P) 314-334.

American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award: Kevin Harvick, No. 4
Busch Pole Award: Kevin Harvick, No. 4 189.707 mph

Fastest Lap: Kevin Harvick, No. 4
Moog Go the Extra Mile: Alex Bowman, No. 88 crew chief Greg Ives, 0.304 seconds

Sunoco Rookie of the Race: Daniel Hemric, No. 8

Championshup Points Report

ank Driver Car Starts GL Points Ldr Nxt Race Wins Stage Wins Playoff Pts
1. Martin Truex Jr. (P) 19 34 0 4133 0 0 7 8 42
2. Kevin Harvick (P) 4 34 3 4113 -20 20 4 6 28
3. Kyle Busch (P) 18 34 0 4113 -20 0 4 11 46
4. Joey Logano (P) 22 34 0 4111 -22 2 2 10 30
5. Denny Hamlin (P) 11 34 -3 4091 -42 20 5 5 37
6. Ryan Blaney (P) 12 34 0 4088 -45 3 1 2 9
7. Kyle Larson (P) 42 34 0 4088 -45 0 1 5 11
8. Chase Elliott (P) 9 34 0 4033 -100 55 3 5 24
9. Brad Keselowski 2 34 0 2265 -1868 1768 3 4 24
10. William Byron 24 34 0 2247 -1886 18 0 2 1
11. Clint Bowyer 14 34 0 2225 -1908 22 0 1 0
12. Alex Bowman 88 34 0 2215 -1918 10 1 0 5
13. Aric Almirola 10 34 1 2204 -1929 11 0 2 1
14. Kurt Busch 1 34 -1 2193 -1940 11 1 3 11
15. Ryan Newman 6 34 0 2170 -1963 23 0 0 0
16. Erik Jones 20 34 0 2127 -2006 43 1 0 5
17. Daniel Suarez 41 34 1 801 -3332 1326 0 0 0
18. Jimmie Johnson 48 34 -1 784 -3349 17 0 1 0
19. Paul Menard 21 34 0 732 -3401 52 0 0 0
20. Chris Buescher 37 34 0 687 -3446 45 0 0 0
21. Matt DiBenedetto 95 34 1 658 -3475 29 0 0 0
22. Austin Dillon 3 34 1 657 -3476 1 0 2 0
23. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 17 34 -2 643 -3490 14 0 0 0
24. Ty Dillon 13 34 0 583 -3550 60 0 2 0
25. Daniel Hemric # 8 34 1 489 -3644 94 0 0 0
26. Ryan Preece # 47 34 -1 484 -3649 5 0 0 0
27. Bubba Wallace 43 34 0 472 -3661 12 0 0 0
28. Michael McDowell 34 34 0 467 -3666 5 0 0 0
29. Corey LaJoie 32 34 0 393 -3740 74 0 0 0
30. David Ragan 38 34 0 377 -3756 16 0 0 0
31. Matt Tifft 32 0 352 -3781 25 0 0 0
32. Reed Sorenson 23 0 116 -4017 236 0 0 0
33. Quin Houff 77 17 0 77 -4056 39 0 0 0
34. Jamie Mcmurray 1 0 19 -4114 58 0 0 0
35. Austin Theriault 5 0 17 -4116 2 0 0 0
36. Andy Seuss 1 0 9 -4124 8 0 0 0
37. Blake Jones 1 0 6 -4127 3 0 0 0
38. Stanton Barrett 1 0 2 -4131 4 0 0 0
39. Casey Mears 1 0 1 -4132 1 0 0 0
40. Justin Haley(i) 3 0 0 -4133 1 1 0 0
41. Brendan Gaughan(i) 4 0 0 -4133 0 0 0 0
42. Tyler Reddick(i) 2 0 0 -4133 0 0 0 0
43. * Ross Chastain(i) 27 33 0 0 -4133 0 0 0 0
44. Landon Cassill(i) 00 34 0 0 -4133 0 0 0 0
45. * JJ Yeley(i) 53 13 0 0 -4133 0 0 0 0
46. * Parker Kligerman(i) 96 14 0 0 -4133 0 0 0 0
47. Bj Mcleod(i) 17 0 0 -4133 0 0 0 0
48. John Hunter Nemechek(i) 36 1 0 0 -4133 0 0 0 0
49. Jeffrey Earnhardt(i) 1 -1 0 -4133 0 0 0 0
50. Ryan Sieg(i) 1 -1 0 -4133 0 0 0 0

Ron Fleshman with John Davison

RIS NASCAR Editor.  Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.

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Volume 2019, Issue 9, Posted 10:06 PM, 11.03.2019