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.
Harvick escalated past pole sitter Ryan Blaney in overtime Sunday succeeding the third resuming in the concluding 35 laps, to triumph the Texas fall race in a successive year in a row and haul one of the four championships professing spots for the season finale in two weeks. We finally knocked that barrier down (with a win in last year's Playoff race at TMS).
With Harvick and Martinsville victor Joey Logano in the No. 22 Ford of Team Penske locked in, the series goes to Phoenix next week with only two spots up for grabs for the championship run at Homestead. "That was really the only shot we had to beat him, to be honest with you". "I thought if I could keep him from finishing the corner, I could drive back by him". If that is the way he wants to race me when he is already locked into Homestead and we are out here fighting for our lives, that is fine. On the previous restart on Lap 311 of a scheduled 334, following caution for Matt DiBenedetto's hard crash into the inside wall on the backstretch, Harvick picked the inside lane, and Blaney cleared him off Turn 2. "We went in side-by-side".
Harvick left no doubt he was the vehicle to beat Sunday. Kurt Busch found himself in third as a result, giving the Las Vegas-native an opportunity to advance in the running order.
"We've been working day after day to make speed", Harvick explained after the checkered flag. We're going to take the top and see what happens and obviously it worked out a little bit.
Djokovic to end year at No.1 with Rafa out
Novak Djokovic reclaimed the world No.1 ranking on Monday after a two-year absence and is assured of finishing the year there. As most people expected, Rafael Nadal withdrew from the Nitto ATP Finals on Monday, citing multiple injuries.
Kyle Busch drew an early speeding penalty entering pit road and later had to make an unscheduled pit stop because of a loose wheel.
The same is true for sixth-place Texas finisher Chase Elliott (39 points below the cut line). He finished 17, the last driver on the lead lap. He then recovered from a pass-through penalty and a loose tire, managing to fight his way back to a ninth place finish.
The series will move to Phoenix next weekend where the two remaining berths in the championship field will be decided. Aric Almirola (eighth Sunday) and Clint Bowyer (26, after contact with Denny Hamlin's Toyota on Lap 1) are both in must-win situations.
Rounding out the top five were non-playoff drivers Erik Jones of Joe Gibbs Racing and Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing.