NASCAR Texas: Joe Gibbs Racing's Kyle Busch edges out Kevin Harvick

Joe Gibbs Racing's Kyle Busch took his first NASCAR Cup series victory of the 2018 season at Texas, narrowly defeating Stewart-Haas Racing's Kevin Harvick

Busch had fallen down the order at the beginning of the third stage, having won the previous instalment.

He was then given a reprieve when Denny Hamlin and Aric Almirola collided, causing a wreck that collected Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski and Austin Dillon among others.

That allowed Busch to remain in the lead pack behind team-mate Erik Jones and Busch was given further help by a caution when Wood Brothers' Paul Menard collided with the wall at Turn 2.

On the subsequent restart on lap 241 of 334, Busch powered around the outside of Jones for a lead he would never relent despite a further two cautions, meaning he retains the points lead.

Harvick and Busch had looked set to battle throughout the race, but the SHR driver's charge was heavily impacted by one of the lugnuts on his car becoming jammed.

After losing eight positions on pitroad, he re-joined the track to immediately radio his team to complain of a loose wheel - forcing a four tyre stop and losing further time.

Harvick's race took another turn for the worse when he earned a penalty for having too many crew members over the wall after one of his mechanics fell over the wall reaching for a tyre.

Now running outside the top 10, he used the cautions of the third stage and his superior pace to climb the order - making a late move into second place.

Jamie McMurray took his season-best result of third place, moving up from fifth after Ricky Stenhouse Jr - suffering with a mechanical problem - and Darrell Wallace Jr fell back in the final stint.

JGR's Erik Jones and Penske's Ryan Blaney then benefitted to finish fourth and fifth, with Blaney's team-mate Joey Logano in sixth.

Reigning champion Martin Truex Jr was an early retirement when he suffered a right-front puncture that put him into the wall in Turn 4 after running in second.

Race result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 334 3h32m07.s
2 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 334 0.300s
3 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 334 7.323s
4 Erik Jones Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 334 7.980s
5 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford 334 9.725s
6 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 334 10.040s
7 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 334 12.607s
8 Darrell Wallace Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet 334 15.624s
9 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 334 15.969s
10 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 334 16.520s
11 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 333 1 Lap
12 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Ford 333 1 Lap
13 Ty Dillon Germain Racing Chevrolet 332 2 Laps
14 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford 332 2 Laps
15 Chris Buescher JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 331 3 Laps
16 Matt DiBenedetto Go FAS Racing Ford 329 5 Laps
17 Kasey Kahne Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet 328 6 Laps
18 Ross Chastain Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 325 9 Laps
19 Cole Whitt TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet 324 10 Laps
20 Gray Gaulding BK Racing Toyota 322 12 Laps
21 Landon Cassill StarCom Racing Chevrolet 321 13 Laps
22 Harrison Rhodes Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet 319 15 Laps
23 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 317 17 Laps
24 A.J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 316 Engine
25 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 315 Suspension
26 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 304 30 Laps
27 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 303 Accident
28 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 294 40 Laps
29 Daniel Suarez Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 290 44 Laps
30 Paul Menard Wood Brothers Racing Ford 215 Accident
31 Reed Sorenson Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 209 Overheating
32 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 178 Accident
33 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 178 Accident
34 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 177 Accident
35 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 175 Accident
36 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 126 Accident
37 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Toyota 80 Accident
Previous article Remembering NASCAR’s lost revolutionary
Next article NASCAR admits Harvick should have had Texas penalty for pitstop issue