NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs: First ever Texas victory for Kevin Harvick
Kevin Harvick wasn’t winning much this year, in a fact he won just once in thirty-three races in 2017. He scored his second win of the year when it’s most important, in this weekend’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, to secure a place in the Championship 4 round and to be one of four contenders for the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title in season’s finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
A victory in the AAA Texas 500 is the first ever for Harvick at Texas Motor Speedway. The 41-year-old driver of #4 Stewart-Haas Ford Fusion breaks a spell on Texas 1.5-mile track to join Playoffs points leader Martin Truex Jr and Martinsville winner Kyle Busch in a fight for the 2017 Cup. One more place is free to be taken in the next weekend’s Can-Am 500 at the Phoenix International Raceway, in the last race of the Round of 8.
Harvick has won at Texas by beating Truex Jr, crossing the finish line 1.580 ahead. Harvick passed Truex Jr with 10 laps left and built a secure advantage for a victory. Truex Jr led for race-high 107 laps but it wasn’t enough for a victory. It’s interesting that Truex Jr also never won at Texas, he would wait at least until the next year.
In the Playoffs points standings ahead of decisive race at Phoenix, Truex Jr. leads ahead of Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick. Brad Keselowski (5th at Texas) is fourth in the classification, 19 points ahead of Denny Hamlin (3rd at Texas). Ryan Blaney is 6th, further three points behind Hamlin. Chase Elliot is 27 points behind Blaney. Jimmie Johnson is 8th, two points behind Elliott.