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Harvick Has Cup Title Shot After 3rd Straight Texas Fall Win

FORT WORTH, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Kevin Harvick won the fall Cup race at Texas for the third year in a row Sunday, again taking one of the championship-contending spots for NASCAR's season finale.

Harvick won from the pole, leading 120 of 334 laps in the No. 4 Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing. He took the lead for the seventh and final time on lap 255, and finished 1 1/2 seconds ahead of teammate Aric Almirola. Daniel Suarez, another Stewart-Haas driver who is still unsigned for next season, finished third.

With Martin Truex Jr. already locked in for the final four on Nov. 17 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the final two spots for the title run will be determined next week at Phoenix.

Playoff contender Joey Logano finished fourth at the 1 1/2-mile Texas track, while Truex was sixth, ahead of Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney, with Kyle Larson 12th. The other playoff contenders, Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott, had accidents that put them deep in the field.

Harvick entered Texas in fifth, below the cutline to race for the title.

His fourth win this year was the 49th of his career, matching car owner Tony Stewart for 14th on NASCAR's career list. Harvick's only championship in his 19 Cup seasons came after a win in the finale at Miami five years ago.

Hamlin was second in points starting the day, but got loose coming out the fourth turn on the 81st lap and slid off the track and through the infield. The No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was damaged after slamming hard across the grass and over asphalt.

His 28th-place finish, six laps behind Harvick, dropped Hamlin to fifth and 20 points behind Logano in fourth.

Busch is third in the standings, only two points ahead of Logano. Larson and Blaney are both 23 points below the cutline and Elliott is now 100 back.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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