Harvick gets Cup title shot with win at Texas | AP sports

Add Aric Almirola to the list of drivers annoyed at Joey Logano. The driver of the No. 10 Stewart Haas Racing Ford had some choice words for Logano over his team scanner following a late restart then re-emphasized them on pit road after the race. RELATED

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Harvick led 177 laps on a day when the other two members of the Big Three struggled. Joey Logano is the only driver locked into the championship with his win at Martinsville Speedway last weekend, when he executed a bump-and-run on Truex on the final corner of the final lap.

"We don't come here to count our fingers and toes to try to figure out how we're going to make it".

When asked about next Sunday's race in Phoenix Truex said, "I feel okay about where we are and feel like we're in decent shape going to Phoenix". Busch, Erik Jones, Blaney, Truex, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Paul Menard, Chase Elliott, and Almirola received stage points with their top tens. Hendrick Motorsports team-mates Jimmie Johnson and William Byron failed inspection twice and thrice, respectively. Harvick, who started third, won the first stage and then followed it up with a win in the second stage. Harvick was already starting to rebuild his lead - it had been almost 4 seconds before the caution - when another yellow flag came out. The 2017 NASCAR Cup Series champion showed his motivation that was sparked by last week's playoff finish where he and Logano clashed, forcing him to relinquish the lead and end up in third. Blaney led seven laps before Harvick went under him and was again putting distance between them before Joey Gase's spin brought out the last of eight cautions.

Logano flew off-line on the restart as Harvick got a stellar jump to beat Blaney.

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The race victor and second driver to automatically advance to Homestead was Kevin Harvick.

It did not take long for drama to ensue as Denny Hamlin, who started sixth, made contact with Bowyer, causing a tire rub on Hamlin's #11 and forcing him to pit.

"They were hard. They were challenging", Blaney said about the restarts. Ryan Blaney was the runner-up. The 38-year-old driver was able to overcome that deficit by finishing fifth in the first stage and third in the second stage.

Truex was forced to start at the back of the field because of a late engine change. Upon returning to the race, he had fallen to last, though he returned to pit road again for further repairs.

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Brad Keselowski quickly powered around Logano and into the lead shortly after the restart. "We nearly caught him the first restart up top and then I did on the second one". He also had a pass-through penalty during the race for driving through too many pit boxes, and was a lap down before getting that back one the first of the late cautions. However, Harvick fought back to reclaim the lead on lap 317, and with the blessing of clean air began to separate himself from the pack.

"There is no format for the teams to communicate to the tower".

Harvick was one of the few playoff contenders who was able to put his day together. But considering the emotional roller coaster that Truex and the Furniture Row Racing team went through the ninth-place place overtime finish looked pretty, pretty good.

Kevin Harvick pulled away from the field during an overtime restart to win the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, earning his eighth victory of the year and a guaranteed spot in the Championship 4 final round of NASCAR's playoffs.

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