Kevin Harvick had the dominant car at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday night, leading 119 laps from the pole and winning his third-straight AAA Texas 500 for a spot in the championship round at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Harvick held off Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Aric Almirola at the checkered by 1.594-seconds.
“Our car was just so fast through [Turns] 3 and 4, as long as I could keep my momentum up, I could get up beside [Almirola],” Harvick said of his late-race battle with his teammate. “So it was definitely fast, and speed made up for our Ducks Unlimited Busch Beer Ford Mustang in what we lacked a little bit in our handling.”
Fellow SHR driver Daniel Suarez finished third after leading 25 laps.
“That was a very solid night, and I’m very happy with the performance and speed that we brought from the shop,” said Suarez. “Everyone back at the shop did a great job. We knew we would be fast here.
“We had a solid perfomance here last time. We did a good job. We had good execution and a good clean day. I’m very happy for Stewart-Haas Racing and the No. 41 Ford Mustang was pretty sporty. I am very happy for Kevin getting his ticket for Homestead.”
Playoff driver Joey Logano finished fourth and Alex Bowman rounded out the top-five. Playoff drivers Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, and Ryan Blaney finished sixth through eighth, with Kurt Busch and Erik Jones rounding out the top-10.
Playoff driver Kyle Larson had a quiet day as well, finishing in 12th after starting 13th.
The race was slowed 11 times for 56 laps, with Playoff drivers Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin finding trouble with the wall or the frontstretch grass early in Stage One. Elliott would finish 32nd, several laps off the pace, while Hamlin would finish six laps down in 28th, despite winning at TMS in March.
Seven-time Texas winner Jimmie Johnson also found the wall after leading 40 laps. The No. 48 was running in second when he spun off the second turn and slapped the wall, relegating his Hendrick Motorsports team to a 34th-place finish.
There were 26 lead changes among 11 drivers, with 2,957 green flag passes (10.6 per green flag lap).
The next race will be at ISM Raceway for the Bluegreen Vacations 500, the final race in the Round of Eight. The race will air on NBC at 2:30 p.m. ET and will also be streaming on MRN Radio, SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90 and the NBC Sports app.