Martin Truex Jr. to start Texas playoffs at rear

Martin Truex Jr. to start Texas playoffs at rear

Martin Truex Jr. to start Texas playoffs at rear

At the end of Lap 171, it was Harvick who won yet another stage-his 18th of the year. "I am not going to let what happened last week take my focus off of that". "Today we earned our way in and we're going to go and race again next week and try to win another race and see what we can do at Homestead". Harvick said that he thought if he could prevent him from concluding the corner, he could drive back by him. They are above the cut line, but Clint Boywer, Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch or Chase Elliott could advance with a win. He cleared Blaney on the first restart but lost the lead on the second one and had to track Blaney down to take the lead back.

"That last restart I knew I needed to pick the top", Harvick said.

When asked at Texas if everything was cool with Truex, or if his head would be on a swivel looking around, Logano said only time would tell. The race will determine the other two drivers in the championship four. "We nearly caught him the first restart up top and then I did on the second one".

A caution with 38 laps to go created an interesting kink in the pit strategy of many who debated whether or not to pit for tires and fuel, that being the looming question mark throughout Sunday's race.

The conditions in Texas led to a race that was more about strategy and position than pure speed or driver ability, a fact that frustrated some of the drivers.

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The final race in the Round of 8 is next Sunday Nov. 11 at ISM Raceway in Phoenix.

Kyle Busch was 17th and Bowyer 26th after starting on the front row but making contact with Denny Hamlin on the first lap. "Happy about that for sure", he said.

Truex has vowed that Logano won't win the Cup title after what happened at Martinsville.

Logano's differing pit strategy kept his rivals guessing late into the race.

"Just traffic was so bad and so hard to pass".

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"We were a third place auto and that restart there where we finally were in position we fought all day from the back and started at the tail and worked diligently all day to get up to the front and finally got ourselves in position to at least have a shot and race with those guys", Almirola said of the final restart of the day.

"If he would have went in there on my right rear I would have been OK but we went in side-by-side and if I sailed off as fast as he did I would have sailed off and wrecked us both".

Truex Jr.is the driver who Almirola trails by 57 points, and Almirola has no way of passing his point total in the Can-Am 500 without winning the race. Officials in NASCAR's scoring tower punished Johnson's team for failing pre-race inspection three times. "So, whatever the tower says is the way it is", Johnson said.

Johnson's teammate with Hendrick Motorsports, William Byron in the No. 24, was sent to the back of the field after three failed inspections. It gets you loose and it's a handful.

UP NEXT: The last race in the third round of the playoffs, Sunday at Phoenix.

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NASCAR did not have its finest day at Texas Motor Speedway, where things first went awry with an erroneous penalty even before the race. Harvick won there for the ninth time earlier this season. In the meanwhile, they got to the backstretch; Harvick had propelled his number 4 Stewart-Haas Ford in front of Blaney which ultimately led to the eighth victory of this season and 45th overall.

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