Kevin Harvick fends off Blaney in overtime to win at Texas

Kevin Harvick saved his eighth NASCAR Cup Series win of the season for the Round of 8 which earns him a trip to the final four.

Kevin Harvick fends off Blaney in overtime to win at Texas

Harvick held off Ryan Blaney in a two-lap overtime to the win Sunday’s AAA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, repeating his victory in this race of a year ago.

The win is Harvick’s eighth this season and 45th of his career.

Harvick will now join Joey Logano as two of the four drivers who will compete for the 2018 series championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway in two weeks.

"I'm just really, really proud of everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing for these cars that we've had for really five year now," Harvick said. "I'm just have to thank everyone who helps us, really eveybody at the shop. 

"We've been working day after day to make speed. This place has been really good to me. We finally knocked that barrier (win) down (last fall) and win in front of all these fans at Texas. So, thank you guys!

"The expectations are to win. Like I told you guys before the race, we don't race for points, we race for wins. We don't count our fingers and or toes trying to figure out how to make it in. Today we earned our way in and we're going to race again next week and try to win another race and then see what we can do at Homestead."

This is also the fourth time in five seasons Harvick will be competing for a championship under the current playoff format.

Logano finished third, Erik Jones was fourth and Kyle Larson completed the top-five.

Rounding out the Top 10 were Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch, Aric Almirola, Martin Truex Jr. and Austin Dillon.

Stage 3

Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, Logano was the first off pit road thanks to a two-tire pit stop and held the lead when the final stage went green on Lap 177.

Brad Keselowski quickly powered around Logano and into the lead shortly after the restart.

With 150 laps to go in the race, Keselowski held a small lead over Blaney with Logano running in third.

On Lap 210, Kyle Busch was forced to pit under green after taking the wave-around during the stage break caution. Harvick, the first driver who took four new tires during the stage break, moved into third.

Daniel Suarez went around off Turn 2 on Lap 226 to bring out a caution and set up a round of pit stops. Logano was the first off pit road and took over the lead on the restart on Lap 231. He was followed by Blaney and Keselowski.

Jimmie Johnson had to restart from the rear of the field after his tire changer went over the wall too soon.

With 90 laps to go, Harvick had moved up into the second position and began running down Logano in an attempt to make a pass for the lead.

On Lap 248, Truex was forced to pit under green after complaining of a loose wheel. He was running seventh at the time.

To make matters worse, Truex was penalized for driving through too many pit boxes and was forced to make a pass-thru penalty. After serving the penalty, Truex was running 26th and two laps down.

On Lap 254, Harvick made his way around Logano and back into the lead.

Harvick’s had moved out to a more than 2.4-second lead over Blaney with 65 laps to go as Logano ran in third, followed by Almirola and Kurt Busch.

On Lap 282, Harvick hit pit road under green for what would be his final stop for fuel. Several other drivers followed suit.

Once the cycle of stops was completed on Lap 294, Harvick emerged with a more than 4-second lead over Blaney, followed by Almirola, Logano and Jones.

David Starr spun off Turn 2 to bring out another caution. The top six in the running order elected not to pit so Harvick remained out front when the race returned to green with 32 laps remaining.

Caution was displayed again with 28 laps remaining as Darrell Wallace Jr. got into Chris Buescher, who hit the outside wall, and then Matt DiBenedetto slammed into the back of Buescher.

The race returned to green on Lap 311.

On the restart, Blaney and Harvick raced side-by-side with Blaney grabbing the lead with 22 laps to go as Harvick dropped into second.

With 17 laps to go, Harvick cleared Blaney off Turn 2 to reclaim the lead.

Joey Gase and Daniel Suarez were involved in a wreck with two laps to go which sent the race into overtime. Harvick led the way, followed by Blaney, Larson and Logano.

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Cla # Driver 4506 Laps Time Laps Led
1 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 337   177
2 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 337 0.447 40
3 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 337 0.816 54
4 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 337 1.335  
5 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 337 2.084  
6 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 337 2.193  
7 41 United States Kurt Busch  Ford 337 2.510  
8 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 337 2.691  
9 78 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 337 2.824  
10 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 337 3.873  
11 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 337 3.892  
12 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 337 4.032 50
13 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 337 4.246  
14 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 337 4.257 3
15 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 337 4.376 11
16 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 337 4.655  
17 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 337 5.497  
18 31 United States Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 335 2 laps  
19 1 United States Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 335 2 laps  
20 47 United States A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 335 2 laps  
21 6 United States Trevor Bayne  Ford 335 2 laps  
22 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 335 2 laps  
23 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 335 2 laps  
24 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 335 2 laps  
25 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 335 2 laps 2
26 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 334 3 laps  
27 95 United States Regan Smith  Chevrolet 332 5 laps  
28 19 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 332 5 laps  
29 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 331 6 laps  
30 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 331 6 laps  
31 96 United States Parker Kligerman  Toyota 329 8 laps  
32 15 United States Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 326 11 laps  
33 7 United States Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 326 11 laps  
34 99 United States Kyle Weatherman  Chevrolet 323 14 laps  
35 00 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 321 16 laps  
36 23 United States J.J. Yeley  Toyota 321 16 laps  
37 51 United States Joey Gase  Ford 317 20 laps  
38 32 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 300 37 laps  
39 97 United States David Starr  Toyota 287 50 laps  
40 72 United States Corey Lajoie  Chevrolet 269 68 laps  
Kevin Harvick dominates Stage 2 at Texas

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