Updated 6:28 p.m. CT with AAA Texas 500 boxscore, driver and owner points
HARVICK WINS AAA TEXAS 500 IN OVERTIME
It was Kevin Harvick all day long into dusk and overtime Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway, where the Stewart-Haas Racing star won the 14th annual AAA Texas 500.
Harvick’s eighth win of 2018 secured a spot in the Championship 4 round of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in two weeks at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Harvick, who won Stages 1 and 2 around TMS’ 1.5-mile oval, outran Ryan Blaney on a green-white-checkered restart to prevail by 0.447 seconds. Choosing the outside lane for a restart after the race’s eighth caution, Harvick rocketed past Blaney and steadily pulled away. It was the capper to a day that saw the 42-year-old Californian lead 177 of the extended 337 laps.
Blaney, who is not involved in the Round of 8 Playoff scenario, settled for second by holding off Team Penske teammate Joey Logano, who finished third. Logano clinched his Final Four spot with a victory last Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.
“Really proud of everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing for these cars,” said Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion. “The expectations are to win. We don’t race for points, we race for wins. Today we earned our way in and we’ll try to win again next week.”
The final two Final Four spots will be settled at the 1-mile ISM Speedway in Avondale, Ariz., near Phoenix next Sunday.
AAA Texas 500 Results – C1834_UNOFFRES
Driver Points – C1834_UNOFFDRIVPTS
Owner Points – C1834_UNOFFOWNPTS
AAA Texas 500 Cumulative Report – C1834_CUMUL
Race Winner Fast Facts – C1834_RNOTES
4:26 p.m. CT
HARVICK TAKES FIRST TWO STAGES OF AAA TEXAS 500
Kevin Harvick continued to dominate Sunday’s 14th annual AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway with a victory in Stage 2. Harvick, the defending event winner from Stewart-Haas Racing, had used a two-tire pit stop strategy to gain track position en route to a Stage 1 victory. Harvick posted his 17th and 18th stage wins of the season after 170 laps around TMS’ 1.5-mile oval.
Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion, led pole-sitter Ryan Blaney to the end of Stage 2 around the 1.5-mile TMS oval. Blaney, of Team Penske, is not among the Round of 8 drivers looking to secure the remaining three spots in the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in two weeks. Joey Logano of Team Penske earned the first spot via his victory at Martinsville Speedway last Sunday.
Playoff driver Martin Truex Jr. finished third, followed by Brad Keselowski of Team Penske, Logano, Aric Almirola of SHR, Erik Jones of Joe Gibbs Racing, Kurt Busch of SHR, Kyle Busch of JGR and Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports. Almirola, the Brothers Busch and Elliott also are Playoff contenders.
Playoff driver Kyle Busch was attempting to rally from a bad set of Goodyear tires bolted onto his No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry on Lap 142. Busch was forced to re-pit to correct the resulting vibration, fell two laps down but was racing on the lead lap in 17th on Lap 187.
Harvick raised his laps-led total to 110 at the conclusion of Stage 2.
4:05 p.m. CT
Kevin Harvick continues to look strong as he has now swept the first two stages of Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. It is Harvick’s 18th stage win of the season. Ryan Blaney was second while NASCAR Playoff contenders Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano were third and fifth, respectively. Brad Keselowski was in the fourth spot.
AAA Texas 500 Stage 2 Cumulative Report – C1834_CUMULS2
3:34 p.m. CT
HARVICK, STEWART-HAAS RACING OFF TO FAST START AT TMS
Kevin Harvick used a two-tire pit stop strategy to gain track position en route to a Stage 1 victory in the 14th annual AAA Texas 500 Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. Harvick posted his 17th stage win of the season after 85 laps around TMS’ 1.5-mile oval.
Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion, and Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 State Water Heaters Ford, finished the stage 1-2 as Round of 8 Playoff competitors. Joey Logano of Team Penske clinched the first spot in the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in two weeks via his victory at Martinsville Speedway last Sunday.
Playoff contenders Martin Truex Jr., Logano and Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing occupied the fifth through seventh spots in an event scheduled for 334-laps/501 miles. Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports and SHR’s Aric Almirola were ranked ninth and 10th , respectively, at the stage’s conclusion.
Harvick took the lead on Lap 33 and held the point for 53 consecutive laps. Pole-sitter Ryan Blaney of Team Penske led the first 32 laps. NASCAR mandated a competition caution after 30 laps in the wake of a Saturday night rainstorm that washed all the weekend’s rubber from the track surface.
3:10 p.m. CT
NASCAR Playoff contender Kevin Harvick wins the opening stage of the AAA Texas 500 Round of 8 Playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his 17th stage win of the season.
AAA Texas 500 Stage 1 Cumulative Results – C1834_CUMUL
2:43 p.m. CT
2:14 p.m. CT
NBC Sports Network opening narrated by “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
AAA Texas 500 Pre-Race Activities/Dignitaries
1:45 p.m. – Re/Max Skydive Team Landing on Turn 1 of Ballfield
2:00 p.m. – Presentation of Colors by the Euless Police Department
2:01 p.m. – Pledge of Allegiance by Local Boy & Cub Scouts
2:02: p.m. – National Anthem by Air National Guard Band of the Southwest
2:03 p.m. – Fly-By from 4 x F15s from the 142nd Fighter Wing (Portland, Ore.)
2:07 p.m. – Drivers, Start Your Engines by Ret. Maj. Ed Pulido, Folds of Honor