The Latest: Kyle Busch wins at Texas for 3rd time
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the NASCAR race at Texas Motor Speedway (all times local):
Kyle Busch has given Joe Gibbs Racing its first victory of the season by winning Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.
Busch stayed in front of Kevin Harvick the last 24 laps after the final restart. It is the third win for Busch at Texas, and the 44th in his career.
Harvick led 87 laps in the first half of the 334-lap race, and won the first stage. But several issues in the pits dropped him as far back as 27th place at one point and a lap behind the leaders.
Busch won the second stage and led 116 laps. He finished three-tenths of a second ahead of Harvick.
While winless this season before Sunday, Busch had finished second or third in his previous four races.
Jimmie Johnson won’t have a chance to win his eighth Cup Series race at Texas or end his career-long winless streak.
Johnson was caught up in an incident involving seven cars coming off the backstretch on the first lap after the restart following the end of Stage 2.
Kyle Busch was slipping back through the field after not getting up to speed. Aric Almirola then appeared to get loose around Denny Hamlin.
After Hamlin went into a spin, he took out Brad Keselowski and Johnson, the seven-time Cup Series champion who won at Texas last spring but has now gone 30 races without a win.
The race went into a red flag after 179 laps because of the incident.
Kyle Busch has won the second stage at Texas Motor Speedway.
It is the second stage win of the season for Busch, who came into the race as the Cup Series points leader.
There were 13 cars still on the lead lap after the second stage, which ended after 170 of 334 laps on the 1½-mile track.
Kurt Busch, the race pole sitter, was second, followed by Joey Logano, Erik Jones and Clint Bowyer.
Kyle Busch was second in the first stage behind Kevin Harvick, who is now running 15th and a lap down after issues during a pit stop.
Kevin Harvick has fallen a lap behind the leaders after issues on pit road during a caution period.
Harvick has led 87 laps at Texas Motor Speedway and was the winner of the first stage. He was still in the lead before losing eight spots during the stop when a lug nut got loose and the jack started to go down.
A few laps later, Harvick was back in the pit during green-flag conditions because of a loose wheel.
Kevin Harvick has his fourth stage win of the season after taking the first stage Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway, where he was the race winner last November.
Harvick started the race on the front row, alongside pole sitter Kurt Busch, who was finished the stage third behind his brother, Kyle Busch. Ryan Blaney, who won the Xfinity Series race at the 1½-mile track Saturday, was fourth.
The first stage ended under caution. Defending Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr. brought out the yellow flag after his No. 78 Toyota slammed hard into the outer wall coming out of Turn 4. Truex was running second when his right front tire blew and the car shot up the track into the wall.
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 1½-mile track.
Paul Menard, Daniel Suarez and Austin Dillon also were caught up in the mess.
Suarez was still on pit road when the race went green again on lap 8.
Kyle Larson started at the back of the field after his No. 42 car failed pre-race inspection three times, which also led to the ejection from the track of his car chief, David Bryant.
Larson had qualified 10th in the Chip Ganassi Chevrolet.
Also starting at the back of the field were William Byron (engine change), Matt DiBenedetto (transmission) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (backup car). It is the second consecutive race with Stenhouse starting at the back of the field in the backup car. He crashed in practice.
Stewart-Haas Racing drivers have started in the top three spots at Texas Motor Speedway, with Kurt Busch on the pole and teammates Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer right behind him.
Harvick won in Texas last November and Bowyer is coming off a win at Martinsville in the last NASCAR Cup Series race two weeks ago, before the Easter break. That snapped a 190-race winless streak for Bowyer that went back to 2012.
Ryan Blaney started fourth Sunday in the Cup race, a day after winning in the Xfinity Series on the 1½-mile track for Team Penske.
Jimmie Johnson has a 29-race winless streak, the longest in his career. He has won seven wins in Texas, five times more than any other active driver.
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