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Kyle Busch holds off Kevin Harvick to win crazy Texas race

Kyle Busch had a really fast car on Sunday at Texas. More importantly, he stayed out of trouble.

Busch was one of the few frontrunners who didn’t have major issues throughout the race’s 500 miles and held off Kevin Harvick over the final 25 laps to win his first race of the season.

Harvick’s car might have been faster than Busch’s for the majority of the race. But a couple of pit stop miscues meant Harvick kept playing catch-up and he ultimately couldn’t catch Busch.

“They were probably just a tick faster overall but I just had to make sure to do everything I could to hit my marks and do everything to focus on making sure that I did the right things to block his air a little bit,” Busch said.

Harvick called his pit road issues “pathetic.”

Harvick probably should have been penalized on his final green-flag pit stop of the day too. His team clearly violated NASCAR’s controlled tire policy, but NASCAR somehow didn’t penalize him. The lack of penalty meant Harvick had a chance to chase down Busch for the lead.

While Harvick’s car didn’t have any damage at the end of the race, the same can’t be said for Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Larson. Both drivers were in the top five throughout the first half of Sunday’s race but had their days end with hard crashes after right-front tire failures.

After Larson and Truex were out of the race, a massive crash took out Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski and others when Hamlin got loose under Aric Almirola.

(via Fox Sports 1)

Busch entered Sunday’s race as the points leader and will keep that lead over Harvick with the win, his 44th overall in his Cup Series career. While the race might have been crazy, Busch getting a win on Sunday isn’t. He entered the race with finishes of second, second, third and second in each of the previous four races.

While he didn’t have a win through the first six races of the season, he had established himself as the sport’s most consistent driver thanks to Harvick’s mistake at Auto Club Speedway. He just didn’t have the single-race speed that Harvick and his Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Clint Bowyer had shown at various points throughout the season. Two of Busch’s second-place finishes came to Harvick while his most recent was to Bowyer.

Just 10 cars finished on the lead lap. Full results:

1. Kyle Busch
2. Kevin Harvick
3. Jamie McMurray
4. Erik Jones
5. Ryan Blaney
6. Joey Logano
7. Kurt Busch
8. Darrell Wallace Jr.
9. Clint Bowyer
10. William Byron
11. Chase Elliott
12. Trevor Bayne
13. Ty Dillon
14. Michael McDowell
15. Chris Buescher
16. Matt DiBenedetto
17. Kasey Kahne
18. Ross Chastain
19. Cole Whitt
20. Gray Gaulding
21. Landon Cassill
22. Harrison Rhodes
23. David Ragan
24. AJ Allmendinger
25. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
26. Austin Dillon
27. Ryan Newman
28. Alex Bowman
29. Daniel Suarez
30. Paul Menard
31. Reed Sorenson
32. Aric Almirola
33. Brad Keselowski
34. Denny Hamlin
35. Jimmie Johnson
36. Kyle Larson
37. Martin Truex Jr.

Kyle Busch (18) comes out of Turn 4 during a NASCAR Cup Series auto race in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, April 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Larry Papke)

 

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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