Har­vick takes the #4 into the fi­nal four

Autosport (UK) - - RACE CENTRE -

KEVIN HAR­VICK AND MARTIN TRUEX JR se­cured their berths in the fi­nal four of the Play­offs by tak­ing the top two po­si­tions.

Har­vick’s vic­tory in his Ste­wart-haas Rac­ing Ford means he joins the al­readyqual­i­fied Kyle Busch in the fi­nal show­down at Home­stead, while Truex’s re­sult means the Fur­ni­ture Row Rac­ing Toy­ota driver’s points are suf­fi­cient for him to make the show, re­gard­less of what hap­pens this week­end at Phoenix in the penul­ti­mate round.

Har­vick won the first stage in Texas, then fin­ished run­ner-up to Kyle Lar­son in the sec­ond. A crash for Lar­son in the fi­nal stage caused a red flag, and it was

Denny Ham­lin, who took just two fresh tyres on his Joe Gibbs Rac­ing Toy­ota at the fi­nal stops, who emerged in the lead at the restart.

Truex and Har­vick moved past Ham­lin, be­fore a small slide from Truex on the exit of Turn 2 al­lowed Har­vick to grab the ad­van­tage with 10 laps re­main­ing.

Brad Ke­selowski is at the head of the bat­tle for the fi­nal Play­off spot. The Penske Ford ace went a lap down early on fol­low­ing con­tact with Busch, but re­cov­ered to fifth be­hind Matt Kenseth. Ham­lin is 19 points adrift of Ke­selowski and two ahead of Ryan Blaney, who fin­ished sixth. Chase El­liott (eighth) and Jim­mie John­son (who bat­tled an ill-han­dling car to 27th) are now ef­fec­tively out of Play­off con­tention.

RE­SULTS

1 Kevin Har­vick (Ford Fu­sion) 334 laps in 3h29m52s; 2 Martin Truex Jr (Toy­ota Camry) +1.580s;

3 Denny Ham­lin (Toy­ota); 4 Matt Kenseth (Toy­ota); 5 Brad Ke­selowski (Ford); 6 Ryan Blaney (Ford);

7 Joey Logano (Ford); 8 Chase El­liott (Chevro­let SS); 9 Kurt Busch (Ford); 10 Erik Jones (Toy­ota).

Points 1 Truex 4168; 2 Kyle Busch 4118; 3 Har­vick 4112; 4 Ke­selowski 4111; 5 Ham­lin 4092; 6 Blaney 4089; 7 El­liott 4062; 8 Jim­mie John­son 4060.

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