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NASCAR at Texas results: Kevin Harvick wins from the pole in stop-and-start race

Sporting News — customerservice@sportingnews.com (Sporting News)

The AAA Texas 500 had six cautions in the first stage and took nearly four hours to complete Sunday, but after all that, the driver who started at the front of the pack finished there, too.

Kevin Harvick won from the pole at Texas Motor Speedway to secure a spot in the Championship 4. He fell back in the middle of the race before dominating late and closing out a comfortable win.

Harvick was leading after a disastrous first stage, which featured those six cautions in the first 81 laps, the most yellow flags of any Stage 1 this season. Many of the wrecks looked the same: A driver would go high around a turn — running onto the traction compound put on the pavement — and then get loose and spin into the wall.

MORE: Updated NASCAR playoffs standings

That happened first to Chase Elliott in the first 10 laps. His eventual 32nd-place finish means he will need to win next week's race at Phoenix to extend his playoff run. The final caution of the first stage was for Denny Hamlin, who avoided hitting the wall but ended up in the infield instead. He finished 28th and is now 20 points below the cut line set by Joey Logano.

Logano was the only playoff driver other than Harvick to finish in the top five. Martin Truex Jr. ended the night in sixth, Kyle Busch in seventh and Ryan Blaney in eighth. Kyle Larson finished 12th.

Busch and Logano are in position to join Truex and Harvick in the Championship 4 entering the final race of the Round of 8. They are third and fourth in the standings, respectively, going into Phoenix. .

Sporting News tracked live updates and highlights from the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Follow along below (all times Eastern):

AAA Texas 500: 2019 winner, top-20 order of finish

FinishDriverTeam (Car No.)Laps Led
1Kevin HarvickStewart-Haas Racing (4)119
2Aric AlmirolaStewart-Haas Racing (10)62
3Daniel SuarezStewart-Haas Racing (41)25
4Joey LoganoPenske Racing (22)5
5Alex BowmanHendrick Motorsports (88)11
6 Martin Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs Racing (19)0
7Kyle BuschJoe Gibbs Racing (18)18
8Ryan BlaneyPenske Racing (12)0
9Kurt BuschChip Ganassi Racing (1)1
10Erik JonesJoe Gibbs Racing (20)9
11Clint BowyerStewart-Haas Racing (14)36
12Kyle LarsonChip Ganassi Raching (42)0
13Austin DillonRichard Childress Racing (3)0
14Matt DiBenedettoLeavine Family Racing (95)0
15Ryan NewmanHendrick Motorsports (48)0
16Daniel HemricRichard Childress Racing (8)0
17William ByronHendrick Motorsports (24)8
18Ty DillonGermain Racing (13)0
19Chris BuescherJTG Daughtery Racing (47)0
20Paul MenardWood Brothers Racing (21)0

NASCAR at Texas live updates, highlights from AAA Texas 500

Caution flags: 11

Lead changes: 25

Lap leaders: Kevin Harvick (119), Aric Almirola (62), Jimmie Johnson (40), Clint Bowyer (36), Daniel Suarez (25), Kyle Busch (18), Alex Bowman (11), Erik Jones (9), William Byron (8), Joey Logano (5), Kurt Busch (1)

7:04 p.m.: CHECKERED. Harvick wins with plenty of room to spare. Logano finishes in fourth, Truex in sixth, Kyle Busch in seventh and Blaney in eighth.

7 p.m.: Harvick's advantage is back up above four seconds as we near 10 laps to go.

6:55 p.m.: A pit stop cuts Harvick's lead to about two seconds with about 20 laps left.

6:48 p.m.: Harvick's lead is up to four seconds.

6:33 p.m.: Here we go.

6:26 p.m.: Harvick and Almirola are trading the lead.

6:25 p.m.: Harvick passes Suarez for second place and is quickly on the bumper of Almirola.

6:20 p.m.: Larson has some thoughts.

6:16 p.m.: CAUTION . Bubba Wallace has a flat and loses control.

6:10 p.m.: Ryan Blaney very nearly loses it. He pits shortly after.

5:56 p.m.: It takes a few laps after the restart, but Almirola eventually passes Suarez for the lead.

5:45 p.m.: CAUTION. On turn 2 after the restart, Garrett Smithley and David Ragan crash.

5:38 p.m.: CAUTION. After a clean second stage, the final stage goes under yellow quickly. Johnson loses it around a corner and hits the wall.

5:34 p.m.: William Byron and Daniel Suarez are battling for the lead after the restart.

5:28 p.m.: CAUTION. Almirola needs four tires before the final stage, so he'll lose some spots. Logano and Larson both do the same.

5:23 p.m.: Almirola wins Stage 2. The playoff drivers who get points: Larson in 4th, Logano in 5th, Harvick in 6th, Kyle Busch in 9th.

5:21 p.m.: Busch falls back as the drivers who pitted catch up to him. Not a ton of playoff drivers among the leaders at the end of Stage 2.

5:16 p.m.: Kyle Busch has the lead with about 15 laps left in Stage 2, which is yet to go under caution.

5:07 p.m.: Aric Almirola takes over the lead from Johnson, who ents the pit.

5:03 p.m.: Johnson has led the past 31 (uninterrupted, mercifully) laps.

4:47 p.m.: Jimmie Johnson and Alex Bowman are battling for the lead.

4:37 p.m.: CAUTION. Ryan Blaney only takes two tires on the post-stage stoppage and leaps to the lead, a spot ahead of Harvick.

4:30 p.m.: Harvick clears Bowyer for the lead in turn three of the final lap of Stage 1.

4:24 p.m.: CAUTION. Hamlin loses control and manages to avoid the wall but ends up in the infield instead. This has become a bit ridiculous: six cautions in the first stage.

4:18 p.m.: CAUTION. Look, it's just not Corey LaJoie's day.

4:11 p.m.: Bowyer leads off the restart, ahead of Harvick and Truex Jr. battling for second.

4 p.m.: Here are Matt Tifft's thoughts on the traction.

3:57 p.m.: CAUTION. That's four in 54 laps. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Brad Keselowski both go into the wall on the same turn in quick succession. It is very risky to be high on the track around turns.

3:55 p.m.: Clint Bowyer and Jones are battling for the lead off the restart. Harvick is running in third.

3:48 p.m.: CAUTION. Corey LaJoie suffers the same fate as Elliott, getting too high on the track and then ending up way, way too high on the track. His tangle with the wall brings the third caution in the first 45 laps.

3:44 p.m.: Harvick has the best car — and the lead — early.

3:31 p.m.: Harvick and Erik Jones will battle for the lead again off the restart.

3:30 p.m.: CAUTION. Just after the restart, a turn marker falls from the catchfence onto the track. The debris brings out the second yellow in the first 20 laps.

3:24 p.m.: CAUTION. Chase Elliott loses grip around a turn, spins into the wall and takes some severe damage about 10 laps in. He will likely face a must-win situation next week if he wants to keep his playoff run alive.

3:20 p.m.: Green flag.