The bad news is those races have a championship at stake and are two more opportunities for NASCAR to have rotten days.
NASCAR did not have its finest day at Texas Motor Speedway, where things first went awry with an erroneous penalty even before the race. #12 Ryan Blaney captured the pole, and started out with the lead early in the race before #4 Kevin Harvick took command and didn't look back as he led 177 laps of the races 337 laps. Today he has earned his way in and he is going to attempt to be triumphant in another race and see what can be done on the home ground. "I think as you've seen, the change to Ford, which everybody thought we were insane, I think the bottom line is we've got more resources and things we can keep within our own walls". By time they got to the backstretch, Harvick had pushed his No. 4 Ford in front and raced to his eighth win of this season. As the leader, Harvick took the outside line for the third restart in the last 35 laps. You would lap the same guys and they would run - they don't understand how hard it is to drive 20 miles per hour faster than them on their left side getting in the corner.
At the end of Lap 171, it was Harvick who won yet another stage-his 18th of the year. I figured when he took the top, it was going to take a really good push and position into 1 to have a prayer at it. Kurt Busch stands -25 below, and is closely followed by Chase Elliot who is -39 below the cutline. Blaney led seven laps before Harvick went under him and was again putting distance between them before Joey Gase's spin brought out the last of eight cautions.
Blaney got a shove from fifth-place finisher Kyle Larson on the final restart, but it wasn't enough. "We nearly caught him the first restart up top and then I did on the second one".
When asked at Texas if everything was cool with Truex, or if his head would be on a swivel looking around, Logano said only time would tell. "He motored around me".
Truex qualified 13th for Sunday's race at Texas, but will start at the back of the field after making an engine change. Harvick and Blaney would then pit on the next lap, Logano also coming in on trip number 284 "round TMS".
Following the four-tire stop, Truex reported a vibration and 19 laps later his right-rear wheel got so loose that he was called back into the pits by crew chief Cole Pearn while the race was running under green-flag conditions.
Clint Bowyer, who started on the front row but had contact with Denny Hamlin on the first lap, was the only of the remaining title contenders outside of the top 10. "To start exactly where we were I think is a decent day".
"Honestly I feel like we've been so caught up in everything, and just so focused on trying to get back to Homestead and trying to repeat, we haven't really talked about it", Truex said.
Truex Jr.is the driver who Almirola trails by 57 points, and Almirola has no way of passing his point total in the Can-Am 500 without winning the race. If I sailed off in there as fast as he did, I would have got loose, wrecked us both. Tune in to NBC on Sunday, November 11 at 2:30 p.m. ET for the live broadcast of the race from ISM Raceway to find out.
But when Harvick moved to SHR from Richard Childress Racing beginning with the 2014 season at age 38, there were no guarantees of success.