FORT WORTH, Texas — Kevin Harvick punched his ticket to the Championship Round in Miami by dominating Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, leading 177 laps and outrunning pole winner Ryan Blaney by 0.447 seconds.
Joey Logano finished third, with Erik Jones and Kyle Larson rounding out the top-five. Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch, Aric Almirola, Martin Truex Jr., and Austin Dillon rounded out the top-10.
Blaney spoke about his second-place finish, saying. “We got by the 4 on that one restart but I just couldn’t hold him off. He was really good. I kind of missed one and two by an inch and he took advantage of it. We needed to be mistake free and then some and I just couldn’t be that.
“Then we had another shot at it. The last one, he took the top, like I knew he was going to and he motored around me. It was a strong showing by our Carlisle team. I thought we were a second-place car all night really. I thought the 4 was head and shoulders above everyone else but I thought we were second best for sure. That was a fun race for sure.”
Third-place Logano also commented on the dominance of Harvick and the Ford teams.
“We had a top-five car. We got out front where we could lead laps for a little bit and just when the front tires would give up that is when the 4 was just stellar. He was stupid fast. He was able to do a lot. Congrats to them. That is two Fords in and two to go.”
The win was Harvick’s 45th career Cup Series win and his second-straight in the fall event at TMS. With this win, Harvick’s appearance at Miami will be his fourth in five years, since the inception of the playoff system in 2014, the year he won his first championship.
”Really, that’s what we race for,” said Harvick on his run to Miami. “You try to get yourself in position to get into the Playoffs and position yourself to have a chance at getting to Homestead.”
”It’s not easy at this time of year just because of the fact that everybody is throwing everything that they have at it, all the notes and all the things that you’ve done all year all piled into the cars that you have on the race track. But it’s enough to win races at this point of the year and to get to Victory Lane and that’s our goal.”
Harvick celebrated his win on the track with a young fan, celebrating with him by taking a selfie before handing him the checkered flag.
”I thought about taking him to Victory Lane with me, but I realized his parents wouldn’t know where he was at,” said Harvick in the Media Center to a roomful of laughter.
Harvick is also the winningest driver at ISM Raceway, where he’ll be able to take a breath next weekend before racing for his second title at Homestead on November 18.