On one of NASCAR’s longest delayed events due to weather issues, the season-long winless drought for Kyle Busch ended under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway after the two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion survived a late challenge from teammate Martin Truex Jr. while on a dry tank of fuel to win the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 on Wednesday, October 28. The victory was Busch’s fourth at Texas and the 57th of his Cup career, keeping him in 10th place on the all-time wins list.
The starting lineup was based on four stats: current owner’s standings, driver’s and owner’s results from a previous Cup race and the fastest lap recorded from a previous Cup race. With that, Kevin Harvick started on pole position for the sixth time this season and was joined on the front row with Joey Logano, winner of last weekend’s Playoff race at Kansas Speedway and a 2020 NASCAR Cup Series championship contender.
Prior to the race, Martin Truex Jr. and his No. 19 Bass Pro Shops/Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota team were issued severe penalties after NASCAR confiscated the spoiler from Truex’s car and noted that his car failed pre-race inspection twice. As a result, NASCAR issued a 20-point driver/owner dock towards Truex and his team with the driver being sent to the rear of the field for the Texas event. The penalty places Truex in a 51-point deficit below the top-four cutline in the Playoff standings. In addition, crew chief James Small was suspended for today’s race at Texas and fined $35,000. Car chief Blake Harris was named Truex’s interim crew chief for today’s race at Texas.
Along with Truex, Daniel Suarez and Chad Finchum started at the rear of the field due to their respective cars failing pre-race inspection twice. Timmy Hill and Garrett Smithley also dropped to the rear of the field due to unapproved adjustments to their respective cars.
When the green flag waved and the race started on a misty, cloudy afternoon, Kevin Harvick jumped ahead with an early strong lead. Brad Keselowski moved his No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang into second place on the inside lane as the field behind battled through two lanes.
By the third lap, Harvick was ahead by six-tenths of a second over Playoff contender Brad Keselowski with Alex Bowman, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney pursuing behind.
It did not take long until the first caution flew on the fifth lap when Chris Buescher got loose and made contact with the outside wall through Turns 1 and 2, though he was able to continue while multiple laps after sustaining damage to his No. 17 Fastenal Ford Mustang.
When the race restarted on the eighth lap, Harvick jumped ahead and retained the lead while Keselowski and Bowman battled for second.
Through the first 10 laps, Harvick continued to lead by nearly a second over Keselowski and Bowman while Logano, Elliott, Matt DiBenedetto and Ryan Blaney battled for position behind.
By Lap 20, Harvick extended his advantage to nearly two seconds over Keselowski with Bowman trailing by more than two. Logano was in fourth followed by DiBenedetto and Blaney while Elliott slipped back to seventh. Denny Hamlin was in eighth followed by Austin Dillon and Aric Almirola. By then, Jimmie Johnson was in 13th in between teammate William Byron and Kyle Busch while Martin Truex Jr. was in 19th in between Clint Bowyer and Christopher Bell. Kurt Busch was the lowest-running Playoff contender in 21st.
Shortly after, the caution flew when J.J. Yeley spun and backed his No. 27 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE into the outside wall entering Turn 2, thus sustaining significant damage to his car. With the wreck occurring past Lap 20, it served as the competition caution initially planned on Lap 25.
Under caution, the leaders pitted for early service and Harvick retained the lead after only taking a two-tire pit stop and with mixed strategy ensuing throughout pit road. Bowman exited in second place following a fuel-only stop followed by Hamlin, DiBenedetto, Logano and Cole Custer. Following the pit stops, Kyle Busch was assessed a penalty for speeding on pit road. In addition, Blaney made another pit stop to address loose lug nuts on the left-front tire of his No. 12 DEX Imaging Ford Mustang.
The race restarted under green on Lap 27 with Harvick and Bowman on the front row. Entering Turn 1, Hamlin, who restarted on the second row, ran into early issues when he attempted to make a run on the outside of Bowman and got loose. With his No. 11 FedEx Shipathon Toyota Camry wiggling up the track, he lost a multitude of positions as he dropped out of the top 20 on the track.
A lap later, the leader Harvick encountered issues of his own after he drifted up and smacked the outside wall hard on the right side of his No. 4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang entering Turn 2. Bowman quickly moved into the lead as the field scattered throughout Turn 2 to avoid Harvick, who dropped all the way towards the rear of the field.
With Harvick reporting smoke inside his cockpit, he made an unscheduled pit stop a few laps later to have the tires and the damage to the right side of his car addressed. By the time he returned to the track, he lost two laps to the leaders. By then, teammate Custer got loose through Turn 1 and entering Turn 2 with his No. 41 Autodesk/HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang nearly making contact with the outside wall, though he continued.
Back at the front, Bowman continued to lead followed by Logano, DiBenedetto, Truex and Elliott while Jimmie Johnson moved up to sixth place.
By Lap 40, Bowman was still ahead by nearly a second over Logano while DiBenedetto, Truex and Elliott were in the top five. Johnson retained sixth place followed by Clint Bowyer, Erik Jones, Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski. Hamlin was all the way back in 26th place while Harvick was in 36th place, a lap down.
Three laps later, the caution returned due to weather issues and the misty, cloudy conditions surrounding the track. Under caution, the leaders pitted and mixed strategy ensued again with Bowyer exiting in first place following a fuel-only stop. Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones and Logano followed in second through fourth after only opting for fuel while Truex exited in fifth place on two fresh tires. Leader Bowman, who opted for a four-tire stop, exited in 18th place. Harvick, who did not opt to take the wave around to return to the lead lap, pitted for an extended service to his No. 4 Ford, though he was able to continue following his early incident.
With the misty, wet conditions continuing to fall and surround the track, the competitors were brought down to pit road and the race went under a red flag period on Lap 52. At the time of the race being put in a hiatus, Bowyer was scored as the leader followed by Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones, Logano and Truex while Elliott, Blaney, Austin Dillon, Keselowski and Kyle Busch were in the top 10.
Following a three-day weather delay, the competitors were able to re-fire their cars and return to the track under cautious pace. While nearly all of the competitors exited pit road, Harvick, who was still scored a lap behind the leaders, remained on pit road to have the damage on the right side repaired. Under caution, some like Austin Dillon and Kurt Busch came back around to pit while the rest led by Bowyer remained on the track.
When the race restarted under green on Lap 56, Bowyer jumped ahead with the lead and Erik Jones moved up to second place while Johnson slipped entering Turn 2 and fell back to fifth place behind Martin Truex Jr. and Logano.
Three laps later, the caution returned when Matt Kenseth got loose entering Turn 4 and was bumped by Hamlin, who spun and collected Bubba Wallace as both cars wrecked across the grass with Wallace’s No. 43 DoorDash Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE clipping Aric Almirola’s No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang before making hard contact into the outside wall. The incident knocked Kenseth and Wallace out of contention.
Under caution, some like Hamlin, Almirola, Ryan Newman, Corey LaJoie, John Hunter Nemechek, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kurt Busch, Daniel Suarez, Timmy Hill, Josh Bilicki, Chad Finchum, Buescher and Harvick pitted while the rest led by Bowyer remained on the track. By then, Harvick returned on the lead lap.
When the race restarted on Lap 68, Bowyer and Truex battled dead even for the lead for a full circuit with Bowyer still able to retain the lead. The following lap, Bowyer cleared Truex and continued to lead while Erik Jones settled behind teammate Truex. By then, Logano and Johnson were in the top five.
By Lap 75, Bowyer continued to lead followed by teammates Truex and Erik Jones while Logano and Johnson were still in the top five. Ryan Blaney was in sixth followed by teammate Keselowski, Tyler Reddick, Chase Elliott and Kyle Busch. By then, Alex Bowman was in 18th while Kurt Busch, Hamlin and Harvick were in 20th, 21st and 22nd.
A lap later, the caution returned due to debris reported on the track near Turn 4. Under caution, some like Christopher Bell, Bowman, Kurt Busch, Newman, Timmy Hill and Chad Finchum pitted while the rest led by Bowyer pitted.
When the race restarted under green on Lap 81, Bowyer and Truex battled dead even for the lead for a full circuit again with Bowyer leading by a nose when the field returned to the start/finish line. The following lap, Truex led a lap for himself before Bowyer reassumed the lead the following lap and cleared Truex’s No. 19 Toyota the next lap.
With Bowyer leading Truex and Jones, Blaney moved into fourth followed by teammate Logano and DiBenedetto. Johnson was in seventh followed by teammates William Byron and Elliott while Keselowski and Austin Dillon battled for 10th. By then, Harvick and Hamlin moved into the top 20 in front of Bowman while Kurt Busch was in 24th.
By Lap 90, Bowyer was still leading by nearly half a second over teammates Truex and Jones while Blaney was in fourth. Behind, Logano was in fifth ahead of Johnson and Byron while DiBenedetto, Elliott and Austin Dillon were in the top 10. By then, Keselowski was back in 13th, Harvick was in 15th in between teammate Custer and Kyle Busch, Hamlin was in 18th, Bowman was in 19th and Kurt Busch was in 21st.
Ten laps later and at the Lap 100 mark, Bowyer continued to lead by nearly two-tenths of a second over Truex, who remained within striking distance of Bowyer’s rear bumper, while Jones and Blaney trailed behind in third and fourth. Johnson moved up to fifth place over Logano while Byron, Elliott, Austin Dillon and DiBenedetto were in the top 10.
Coming to two laps remaining to the conclusion of the first stage, Truex gained a run through Turns 1 and 2 and had a run on Bowyer for the lead, but Bowyer was able to block and prevent Truex from making a run beneath him as Bowyer retained the lead. Despite encountering a few lapped cars in the process, Bowyer was able to hold off Truex and win the first stage on Lap 105 as he collected his fourth stage victory of the season. Truex settled in second followed by Jones, Blaney and Johnson while Byron, Elliott, Logano, Austin Dillon and DiBenedetto settled in the top 10. By then, Harvick, Keselowski and Bowman were in 15th, 16th and 17th while Kurt Busch and Hamlin were in 19th and 20th.
Under the stage break, the leaders pitted and Bowman emerged with the lead after only opting for fuel. Bell exited in second place following a two-tire stop while Bowyer, Truex, Jones, Blaney and Johnson, all of whom opted for a four-tire pit stop, followed behind. Following the pit stops, Bell surrendered his track position to make an extra pit stop.
The second stage started on Lap 111 with Bowman and Bowyer on the front row. At the start, Truex pushed Bowman into the lead as he battled Bowyer for second place. Both Truex and Bowyer continued to battle for the runner-up spot as most of the field behind also battled through two lanes.
On Lap 112, Blaney made a three-wide move on Truex and Bowyer in Turn 2 before Truex backed out while Bowyer continued to retain second place on the outside lane while also locked into a battle with Bowyer. Behind, Johnson started to pressure Truex for fourth place while Bowman continued to lead.
By Lap 116, Blaney cleared Bowyer for second and Johnson pulled away from Truex for fourth as he went to work on Bowyer for more. By then, Bowman continued to lead by less than half a second. Behind, Elliott was in sixth, Harvick was in ninth ahead of Kurt Busch and Logano, Keselowski was in 15th and Hamlin was back in 19th.
By Lap 120, Johnson, who was able to overtake Truex for third, started to put pressure on Blaney for second place while Bowman continued to lead by half a second. Bowyer settled in fifth ahead of Elliott and Austin Dillon while Harvick, Kurt Busch and Logano were in the top 10.
Ten laps later, Bowman continued to lead by nearly a tenth of a second over Blaney, who continued to close in for the lead, while Johnson, Truex and Bowyer continued to run in the top five. Elliott, Austin Dillon, Harvick, Kurt Busch and Jones were in the top 10 while Logano was in 12th. Hamlin and Keselowski were back in 18th and 19th.
Four laps later, the caution returned when Joey Gase spun and tapped the outside wall through Turns 1 and 2. Under caution, the leaders pitted and Blaney emerged with the lead after only opting for fuel on his stop. Truex exited in second place following a two-tire pit stop followed by Austin Dillon, Elliott and Bowyer with a number of mixed strategy ensuing.
When the race restarted under green on Lap 138, Blaney and Truex battled dead even for a full circuit before Truex was able to lead the following lap. Soon after, Blaney gained a huge run on the bottom lane in Turn 1 to reassume the lead as Bowyer and Austin Dillon started to join the party.
By Lap 145, Blaney continued to lead by half a second over Truex while Bowyer, Austin Dillon and Harvick were in the top five. Kyle Busch was in sixth followed by Elliott, Logano, Bowman and Nemechek. Hamlin was in 11th in front of Johnson, Keselowski was in 17th and Kurt Busch was back in 22nd behind Ryan Preece.
Five laps later, Blaney retained the lead by a tenth of a second over Truex, who started to close in and mount a challenge for the lead, with Bowyer settling in third. Kyle Busch moved into fourth place ahead of Austin Dillon and Elliott while Harvick fell back to seventh.
On Lap 155, Truex gained a run beneath Blaney entering Turn 2 and took the lead after spending the last several laps trying to gain a run and pass Blaney for the lead. Behind, Kyle Busch started to close in on Blaney for second place while Bowyer and Austin Dillon continued to run in the top five.
By Lap 160, Truex was ahead by four-tenths of a second over Blaney with Kyle Busch trailing by seven-tenths of a second. Bowyer and Austin Dillon were in the top five followed by Elliott, Harvick, Logano, Bowman and Nemechek. Hamlin was in 13th, Keselowski was in 15th and Kurt Busch was back in 23rd.
At Lap 167, the halfway mark, Truex continued to lead by less than four-tenths of a second over Blaney with Kyle Busch trailing by a second. Bowyer and Austin Dillon continued to run in the top five followed by a battle between Harvick and Bowman, both battling in front of Elliott.
By Lap 175, Truex was out in front by three-tenths of a second over Blaney while Kyle Busch trailed by more than a second in third place. Bowyer and Austin Dillon continued to run in the top five.
Shortly after, Harvick, who was running in seventh behind Bowman, made a green flag pit stop after reporting a vibration to his car. By the time he returned to the track, he was back in 29th place and scored a lap behind the leaders.
On Lap 185, Kyle Busch moved into second place over Blaney while teammate Truex continued to lead by more than a second. Bowyer continued to run in fourth place while Bowman moved into fifth place over Austin Dillon. By then, Elliott, Johnson, Logano and Bell were in the top 10.
Ten laps later and with the laps in the second stage dwindling, pit stops under green commenced as Blaney pitted. Shortly after, Austin Dillon pitted for only fuel. On Lap 198, Truex pitted under green as teammate Kyle Busch took the lead, with Truex falling off the pace. By then, Bowman made a two-tire pit stop under green along with teammate Johnson. Byron, Kurt Busch, Logano, Elliott also made a pit stop along with Kyle Busch. Keselowski also pitted for only fuel on his No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang. Following the pit stops, Elliott made another pit stop to address a vibration to his No. 9 Hooters Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. The late issue cost Elliott a lap to the leaders.
By Lap 203 and with most of the pit stops under green completed, DiBenedetto emerged with the lead. A lap later, he pitted and Almirola emerged with the lead followed by Joe Gibbs Racing’s Jones, Kyle Busch and Truex. Another lap later, Almirola pitted and Jones took the lead.
With three laps remaining in the second stage, Jones pitted and Kyle Busch took the lead. With clean air, Busch was able to pull away and maintain his advantage as he claimed the second stage win on Lap 210 and his third stage victory of the season. Truex settled in second followed by Bowman, Keselowski and Blaney while Bell, Austin Dillon, Bowyer, Stenhouse and Harvick settled in the top 10. By then, Logano and Kurt Busch were in 15th and 17th while Hamlin was in 19th.
Under the stage break, nearly all of the leaders pitted, except for leader Kyle Busch, Bowyer, Logano, DiBenedetto and Hamlin. Following the pit stops, Truex exited in first after only taking fuel to his car.
With 118 laps remaining, the final stage commenced with Kyle Busch and Bowyer on the front row followed by Logano, DiBenedetto, Hamlin, Truex, Blaney, Bowman, Byron and Kurt Busch while Johnson and Harvick were on the sixth row.
At the start, Kyle Busch and Bowyer battled dead even for the lead for one full circuit with Bowyer leading the following lap. The next lap, Busch reassumed the lead while DiBenedetto battled Bowyer for second place. Behind, Logano and Hamlin battled for fourth place as Bowman and Truex joined the party. Not long after, Truex overtook Bowman and teammate Hamlin as he went to work on Logano for more. At the front, Bowyer returned to second place over DiBenedetto and went to work on Kyle Busch for the lead.
With 110 laps remaining and the race settling into dark conditions, Kyle Busch continued to lead by two-tenths of a second over Bowyer and with DiBenedetto trailing by less than a second. Truex made his way into fourth followed by Logano, Hamlin, Bowman, Kurt Busch, Johnson and Keselowski. By then, Harvick was in 14th behind Blaney and Austin Dillon. Elliott was mired back in 25th, a lap down.
Soon after, Truex overtook DiBenedetto for third place while Logano was still mired in fifth place in front of Hamlin, Bowman, Kurt Busch and Keselowski. At the front, Kyle Busch continued to lead by a narrow margin over Bowyer.
With 100 laps remaining, Kyle Busch continued to lead by nearly two-tenths of a second over Bowyer while Truex, DiBenedetto and Logano were in the top five. Hamlin, Keselowski, Bowman, Kurt Busch and Blaney were in the top 10 ahead of Johnson, Bell, Byron, Custer and Austin Dillon. Harvick was in 17th behind Tyler Reddick while Elliott was in 24th, the first car a lap down to the leaders.
Shortly after, Keselowski overtook Hamlin and teammate Logano to move into the top five while Bowman and Kurt Busch closed in on Hamlin for seventh place.
With 90 laps remaining, Kyle Busch stabilized his advantage by nearly six-tenths of a second over Bowyer while Truex, DiBenedetto and Keselowski continued to run in the top five. Blaney, Logano, Bowman, Bell and Hamlin were scored in the top 10 followed by Kurt Busch. Harvick continued to run in 17th while Elliott, who was still a lap behind, moved up to 23rd place.
Ten laps later, the gap between leader Kyle Busch and runner-up Clint Bowyer expanded by more than a second. While Truex continued to run in third place, Keselowski moved into fourth place in front of DiBenedetto, Blaney and Logano while Bowman, Bell and Hamlin continued to run in the top 10.
Two laps later, Bowyer surrendered second place to pit under green as he was out of fuel. Kyle Busch continued to lead followed by teammate Truex, Keselowski, Blaney, DiBenedetto and Logano. Meanwhile, Harvick, who was back in 18th, issued concerns about his tires chattering.
With 70 laps remaining, Kyle Busch continued to lead by more than six seconds over teammate Truex while Keselowski, Blaney and Bell were scored in the top five. DiBenedetto, Bowman, Logano, Kurt Busch and Hamlin were in the top 10. Harvick was in 19th while Elliott was mired back in 22nd. Bowyer was back in 24th and trapped a lap behind the leaders.
Three laps later, leader Kyle Busch made a pit stop under green. Not long after, Logano pitted under green as Truex continued to lead followed by Bell, who overtook Blaney, DiBenedetto and Keselowski for position.
Soon after, Harvick and Hamlin pitted under green along with DiBenedetto, Keselowski, Byron, Kurt Busch, Austin Dillon, Truex, Johnson, Bowman, Newman, Blaney, Custer and Elliott.
With 55 laps remaining, Bell was scored as the leader followed by Kyle Busch, Bowyer, Truex and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. A lap later, Bell pitted and Busch reassumed the lead, though Busch was told that he was short on fuel to finish the race.
Shortly after, Johnson pitted and the hood of his No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE went up as a billow of smoke started blowing out of the exhaust pipe of Johnson’s machine with engine issues occurring. The engine issue was catastrophic and enough to end Johnson’s strong run into the garage and in 36th place in his 35th and final run at Texas Motor Speedway.
With less than 50 laps remaining, Bowyer emerged with the lead followed by Kyle Busch, Truex, Bell and Blaney. By then, Keselowski and Bowman were in sixth and seventh, Kurt Busch was in ninth ahead of Hamlin and Logano and Harvick was in 19th. Elliott was mired back in 22nd.
With 40 laps remaining and the laps continuing to dwindle, Bowyer continued to lead followed by Kyle Busch, though both were in question of having enough fuel to complete the race to its distance. Behind by more than five seconds were Truex and Bell while Blaney was in fifth. Keselowski, Bowman, Kurt Busch, DiBenedetto and Hamlin were in the top 10 ahead of Logano while Harvick and Elliott were still mired back in 19th and 22nd.
With 30 laps remaining, Bowyer retained the lead by less than four seconds over Kyle Busch with Truex and Bell trailing by five seconds. Blaney continued to trail by less than 12 seconds in fifth place while Bowman, Keselowski, Kurt Busch, DiBenedetto and Hamlin were in the top 10.
Seven laps later, Bowyer’s hopes of winning in his final rodeo at Texas Motor Speedway came to an end as he pitted under green for fuel. With Bowyer out of contention, Kyle Busch assumed the lead while teammate Truex moved into second place followed by Bell.
Down to the final 20 laps of the race, Kyle Busch was ahead by a second over teammate Truex with Bell trailing by more than a second. Blaney and Bowman moved up into the top five while Keselowski, Kurt Busch, DiBenedetto, Hamlin and Logano moved into the top 10. Harvick was back in 17th, the final car on the lead lap, while Elliott was in 21st.
Five laps later, Kyle Busch continued to lead by a second over teammate Truex with Bell lurking behind by more than a second and a half and with the leaders starting to catch lapped traffic.
With 10 laps remaining, Kyle Busch stabilized his advantage by more than a second over teammate Truex, who continued to track his teammate for the lead and a potential spot to the Championship Round, while Bell continued to remain in pursuit for the lead. By then, Harvick was lapped by Busch as Truex started to close in by less than a second.
Down to the final five laps, Kyle Busch continued to lead by a second over teammate Truex as the leaders started to approach more lapped traffic. By then, Bell started to lose ground as he trailed by more than three seconds in third place and with Blaney and Bowman in the top five.
With two laps remaining, Kyle Busch was still running strong with the lead and by more than a second over teammate Truex. He continued to lead as he started the final lap of the race.
For one final circuit, Truex got the deficit down under a second but it was not enough as Kyle Busch was able to streak across the finish line in first place and win by four-tenths of a second over Truex.
With his victory, Kyle Busch extended his winning streak to 16 consecutive seasons as he snapped his 33-race winless drought dating back to November 2019 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where he won his second Cup title. Despite Busch’s hopes of defending his title evaporating, the two-time champion expressed a huge sigh of relief upon bowing to the crowd with the checkered flag in celebration.
“[I] Just kept getting great leadership and mentoring from [crew chief] Adam [Stevens] and [spotter] from Tony [Hirschman], and those guys just keep talking to me, keep reminding me about saving [fuel] and being able to do what I could, trying to stay in the draft as much as I could on the straightaways,” Busch said on NBCSN. “It ran out coming right in here to do a burnout, so I had enough to get a little bit of a burnout. I don’t know if I’ll make it back [to Victory Lane.]”
“I can’t say enough about Adam Stevens and everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing,” Busch added. “This Skittles Zombie machine looks bad to the bone. It’s really, really awesome! We got [the win]. I was nervous a little bit like the whole last run, but I’ve been in this position so many times. It’s like the last three laps though, that’s like winning the championship. That’s how nervous it was. I can’t believe it. We’re ready to fight next year. We’ll be back…We don’t ever give up.”
Truex settled in second place as he came up one position shy of winning and racing his way into the Championship 4 round. Including the 20-point penalty for having his spoiler confiscated during pre-race inspection on Sunday, the 2017 Cup champion trails the top-four cutline by 36 points entering next weekend’s final Playoff elimination race at Martinsville Speedway.
“We knew [Kyle Busch] was close,” Truex said on NBCSN. “Hell of an effort by the Bass Pro guys and everybody that helps us. It just seems like one of them years, we’re second, third, fourth. We’re right there a lot. We just needed a little bit more to be better. Coming here, we had a lot of confidence and obviously, we had a strong run. This time of the year, Playoffs, second’s great, but it’s not good enough. Excited about Martinsville. I know we can win there. We showed that in the past, but it’s a new race and a new week. We’ll have to figure out how to be better when we’ve been there. I feel like everybody will get better. Looking forward to it, excited about the opportunity to get to do this and hopefully, put ourselves in another championship race.”
Bell notched a career-best Cup result of third place while Blaney and Bowman rounded out the top five. Keselowski, Kurt Busch, DiBenedetto, Hamlin and Logano finished in the top 10. Harvick ended his night in 16th place while Elliott came home in 20th place. Bowyer finished 17th in his 30th and final run at Texas.
There were 23 lead changes for 11 different leaders. The race featured eight cautions for 47 laps.
1. Kyle Busch, 90 laps led, Stage 2 winner
2. Martin Truex Jr., 53 laps led
3. Christopher Bell, five laps led
4. Ryan Blaney, 20 laps led
5. Alex Bowman, 43 laps led
6. Brad Keselowski
7. Kurt Busch
8. Matt DiBenedetto, two laps led
9. Denny Hamlin
10. Joey Logano
11. Austin Dillon
12. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
13. William Byron
14. Cole Custer
15. Tyler Reddick
16. Kevin Harvick, one lap down, 28 laps led
17. Clint Bowyer, one lap down, 89 laps led, Stage 1 winner
18. Ryan Preece, one lap down
19. Ryan Newman, one lap down
20. Chase Elliott, one lap down
21. Erik Jones, one lap down, two laps led
22. John Hunter Nemechek, two laps down
23. Aric Almirola, two laps down, one lap led
24. Ty Dillon, two laps down
25. Corey LaJoie, three laps down
26. Michael McDowell, three laps down
27. Daniel Suarez, six laps down
28. Brennan Poole, six laps down, one lap led
29. Josh Bilicki, eight laps down
30. Timmy Hill, nine laps down
31. Garrett Smithley, nine laps down
32. Reed Sorenson, 13 laps down
33. Quin Houff, 18 laps down
34. Chris Buescher, 24 laps down
35. Chad Finchum, 24 laps down
36. Jimmie Johnson – OUT, Engine
37. Joey Gase – OUT, Suspension
38. Bubba Wallace – OUT, Accident
39. Matt Kenseth – OUT, Accident
40. J.J. Yeley – OUT, Accident
Bold indicates Playoff contenders.
1. Joey Logano – Advanced
2. Kevin Harvick +42
3. Denny Hamlin +27
4. Brad Keselowski +25
5. Alex Bowman -25
6. Chase Elliott -25
7. Martin Truex Jr. -36
8. Kurt Busch -81
Next on the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series schedule is Martinsville Speedway for the Xfinity 500, which marks the third and final race of the Round of 8 in the Playoffs and where this year’s Cup Championship 4 field will be determined. The race is scheduled to occur on Sunday, November 1, at 2 p.m. ET on NBC.