Harvick wins 1st stage at Texas, 4th this year

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You might spend the next 60 laps trying to get those positions back. Johnson's crew didn't get his right-front wheel on tight and he had to pit again to tighten it up, relegating him to two laps down as Stage 1 wound down.

"Kevin was probably a tick faster than us today so I did what I could to block his air", said Busch. I think the first set of tires that came off the tire looked great.

Restarting on Lap 312 of the 334-lap race, Busch built a lead of half a second with 15 circuits to go.

"Kyle had a decent auto".

"He did a good job of not making any mistakes there at the end", Harvick said, "and kept his auto on the bottom, and never gave us an opening to really drive in there and capitalize on a mistake". "We had really good speed all day". He would lead three times for 40 laps before finishing seventh at Texas Motor Speedway, stewarthaasracing.com reports.

Harvick passed Kyle Busch for the lead during Stage 2 before Kyle Larson crashed into the outside wall on Lap 127. He came off pit road ninth, losing eight spots, after a flying lug nut jammed the jack on a Lap 129 stop and prevented it from lowering.

On a track that doesn't afford much green-flag passing, fast pit stops were critical, and even more important was getting on and off pit road mistake-free. "Those two things we knew were going to have an effect on the aerodynamic properties of all of the manufacturers' cars", NASCAR Senior Vice President for Competition Scott Miller said Monday morning on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Blaney and Hamlin were too fast entering pit road and served pass-through penalties, taking them from being among the leaders to the middle of the pack, with Hamlin soon going a lap down.

"We weren't as good behind him as we were in front of him".

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Busch gave Joe Gibbs Racing their first win of 2018 at a track he doesn't call one of his best.

Kyle Busch picks up the third win of his career at Texas Motor Speedway. Harvick exited the pits right behind Kyle Busch's No. 18 Toyota, then almost faced a devastating penalty.

Harvick started the race on the front row, alongside pole sitter Kurt Busch, who was finished the stage third behind his brother, Kyle Busch.

Jamie McMurray finished third, followed by Jones, Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Kurt Busch, Darrell Wallace Jr., Clint Bowyer and William Byron. Joey Logano, pole victor Kurt Busch, Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr., Clint Bowyer and William Byron completed the top 10. "We didn't qualify where we wanted to and really had to work our way up to the front but it was fun racing with Kyle and Kevin up there".

Kyle Busch led four times for a race-high 116 laps.

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - Kyle Busch's return to Victory Lane only 10 races after his last win just seemed to take much longer. The win, his third at Texas, marked the 14th consecutive year that Busch has recorded at least one victory in the Cup Series. Denny Hamlin got loose and spun in front of Johnson, who has 83 career wins but hasn't been to Victory Lane since Dover last June. Sunday marked his first victory of the year and Toyota's second.

Busch expanded his series lead to 38 points over second-place Logano. Harvick is fourth, but with three wins is the only driver to have clinched a berth in the 10-race playoff at the end of the year.

Alex Bowman got loose in the No. 88 coming out of Turn 4 just three laps into the race, bringing out a quick caution at the 1 -mile track. There were all those runner-up finishes in between, one in particular.

Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Austin Dillon, Trevor Bayne, Aric Almirola, David Ragan and Jimmie Johnson all got caught up in the crash - knocking Hamlin, Keselowski, Almirola and Johnson out of the race.

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