Harvick Dominant in Texas Victory

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Kevin Harvick won the AAA Texas 500 from Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon to lock himself into the Championship Round of the Playoffs.

Harvick had a dominant car all weekend.  After winning the pole on Saturday, Harvick led 119 laps on Sunday on his way to victory lane.

Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

A penalty on a pit stop forced Harvick to restart in the back, and it looked as though his car struggled in traffic.  After another round of pit stops, Harvick was able to work his way through traffic, and he was able to get past his Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Aric Almirola to take the lead.

Harvick said a bad set of tires and a bad restart caused the slow start in the back.

“We had a bad restart one time and we got buried back there,” Harvick said.  “We came in, put another set of tires on, and we were really able to make up some time.”

Harvick now sets his sight on Homestead-Miami Speedway in two weeks, where he will fight for the Championship.

Harvick said his team has been preparing for the finale for awhile.

“We’ve already been going down that road,” Harvick said.  “They’ve already built the car…picked a direction.”

While Harvick locked himself into the finale at Homestead, Denny Hamlin made his road to the championship harder.  After spinning early in the race and damaging the nose to his car, Hamlin finished 28th.

After coming into Texas with a 24-point lead above 5th-place in the standings, Hamlin now sits 20 points below the cutoff.

Hamlin said his team is going to go to Phoenix next weekend looking for a victory.

“The car and effort will be there, that’s for sure,” Hamlin said.  “There’s no doubt in my mind we can go there and win, especially in these circumstances.”

“I like the challenge.  We’re going to go out there and give it our best shot, put our best foot forward and see if we can win next week.”

Unofficial results:

  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Aric Almirola
  3. Daniel Suarez
  4. Joey Logano
  5. Alex Bowman
  6. Martin Truex Jr.
  7. Kyle Busch
  8. Ryan Blaney
  9. Kurt Busch
  10. Erik Jones
  11. Clint Bowyer
  12. Kyle Larson
  13. Austin Dillon
  14. Matt DiBenedetto
  15. Ryan Newman
  16. Daniel Hemric
  17. William Byron
  18. Ty Dillon
  19. Chris Buescher
  20. Paul Menard
  21. John Hunter Nemechek
  22. Parker Kligerman
  23. Ryan Preece
  24. Bubba Wallace
  25. Michael McDowell
  26. JJ Yeley
  27. Landon Cassill
  28. Denny Hamlin
  29. Joe Nemechek
  30. Josh Bilicki
  31. Ross Chastain
  32. Chase Elliott
  33. Quin Houff
  34. Jimmie Johnson
  35. David Ragan
  36. Garrett Smithley
  37. Timmy Hill
  38. Corey LaJoie
  39. Brad Keselowski
  40. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.