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NASCAR Cup: standings after Texas Motor Speedway

Kevin Harvick (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kevin Harvick (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Two drivers, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr., clinched their spots in the Championship Four for the Nov. 19 season-finale at Homestead-Miami with their performances in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway — Harvick by winning the race and Truex by clinching on points after a second-place race finish and points earned in each of the first two stages of the Texas race. They join Kyle Busch, winner of the Kansas Speedway race Oct. 29, as drivers already locked into the championship battle at Homestead with one race remaining in the Round of Eight, the Nov. 12 race at Phoenix and International Raceway.

“It’s been an amazing season and I love this team,” Truex said. We’re excited for Homestead; we had a great test down there and looking forward to going down there and getting another win.”

Harvick, Truex and Busch already having their reservations confirmed for the Championship Four leaves only one slot that five drivers will be fighting four at Phoenix.

Brad Keselowski is fourth in points, with only Truex, Busch and Harvick ahead of him, so he’s on the bubble heading into Phoenix. The other four drivers in order of their points positions are Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott and Jimmie Johnson.

Keselowski heads to Phoenix 19 points “to the good,” as in 19 points ahead of Hamlin, the first driver provisionally out at this point.

Hendrick Motorsports teammates Elliott and Johnson are the last two among the eight remaining playoff drivers and have quite a bit of ground to make up to have any chance to advance beyond Phoenix, courtesy of points. Elliott is 49 points off the bubble, while Johnson’s deficit is 51 points. Chances are, Elliott and Johnson are in “win or be eliminated” positions at Phoenix.

After Elliott fell into a proverbial hole after a wreck resulting from contact from Hamlin the previous race at Kansas, Johnson struggled at Texas. After an unscheduled pit stop in the first half of the Texas race, Johnson’s struggles continued and he wound up with a 27th-place finish, three laps down.

Here’s a look at the championship standings after the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway:
1. Kyle Busch, 1 round win
2. Kevin Harvick, 1 round win
3. Martin Truex Jr., 4168 points (already clinched)
4. Brad Keselowski, 4111 points
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5. Denny Hamlin, 4092 points
6. Ryan Blaney, 4089
7. Chase Elliott, 4062
8. Jimmie Johnson, 4060

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Posted by on November 7, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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