Harvick punches ticket to title race with late pass in AAA 500
Kevin Harvick joined Kyle Busch in the NASCAR championship race after winning Sunday's AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Harvick passed Martin Truex Jr. with 10 laps remaining after the points-leader got loose, creating an opening for the former to take advantage on Sunday.
Despite finishing second, Truex also punched his ticket to the final race - set for Homestead on November 19 - on points.
Only one spot remains for five playoff drivers next Sunday at Phoenix.
Kyle Larson brought out the red flag with 50 laps remaining after making contact with the wall and dropping oil on the track between turns one and two.
On the ensuring restart, Truex took the lead with 46 laps to go while Jimmie Johnson was moved to tail of the field for an uncontrolled tire penalty on pit road, all but capping a troubling day for the seven-time Cup champion.
Admittedly frustrated before the race after being wrecked from the lead at Martinsville, Chase Elliott did not retaliate against Denny Hamlin on Sunday.
After beginning the race from the rear and sitting last in the playoff standings, Elliott worked his way through the field and was even out front on Lap 55 before settling for an eighth-place finish. He will need a win next week to advance to the title race.
Busch and Brad Keselowski were forced to make unscheduled pit stops after contact on the first lap. The repairs set the number two Penske team down a lap and the number 18 team down two. Both were able miraculously recover to get back on the lead lap.
While Busch ran into trouble late, he is locked into the title race thanks to a win at Martinsville. For Keselowski, his fifth-place finish helped him remain in the top four with one race remaining before four drivers are eliminated from playoff contention at Phoenix.