Harvick Warrants His Shot At NASCAR Cup Title With Victory In Texas

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Kevin Harvick has won at Texas to earn a shot at another NASCAR Cup championship.

Harvick dueled Ryan Blaney late in the race, with Blaney taking the lead for about seven laps after a restart on Lap 311.

Harvick and Joey Logano will make up half of the championship field in two weeks in Florida while the other two spots will be set next weekend in Arizona. By time they got to the backstretch, Harvick had pushed his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Ford in front of Blaney and raced to his eighth win of this season and 45th overall. Kevin Harvick handed over the checkered flag to young fan he called on to the track to pose for a selfies, one with the triumphant driver and vehicle that will have a shot at another NASCAR Cup championship.

Logano flew off-line on the restart as Harvick got a stellar jump to beat Blaney. "He motored around me".

Harvick was on the inside again for the next restart, before Blaney was able to get by him on the outside and into the lead.

"We were a third place auto and that restart there where we finally were in position we fought all day from the back and started at the tail and worked diligently all day to get up to the front and finally got ourselves in position to at least have a shot and race with those guys", Almirola said of the final restart of the day.

Logano was third at Texas.

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Bowyer was involved in first-lap rub with Denny Hamlin. Chase Elliott (sixth), Kurt Busch (seventh), Aric Almirola (eighth) and Truex also finished in the top 10. "The only difference is there's one less spot available".

"If he would have went in there on my right rear I would have been OK but we went in side-by-side and if I sailed off as fast as he did I would have sailed off and wrecked us both".

"That last restart I knew I needed to pick the top", Harvick said after the race.

NASCAR later said it erred in penalizing Johnson at the start of the race because his auto passed inspection the third time. "I don't know how they do it".

Johnson's teammate with Hendrick Motorsports, William Byron in the No. 24, was sent to the back of the field after three failed inspections. However, a three-car incident involving Bubba Wallace, Chris Buescher, and Matt Dibenedetto caused headache for more than just the latter who suffered major damage late in the race.

UP NEXT: The last race in the third round of the playoffs, Sunday at Phoenix.

The only stress for Harvick was lane choice for the overtime.

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