Kyle Busch started the race on the pole and led most of the first ¼ of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race then Kevin Harvick took over and led most of the rest of the race; A dominating performance. Kevin Harvick driving the No. 33 Richard Childress Racing One Main Financial Chevrolet led 127 laps of 200. Kevin Harvick won the 8th Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge, his 39th victory in 290 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
In typical NASCAR fashion there was a late caution where some of the competitors were able to get fresh tires when the front of the field stayed out on old tires. At Texas Motor Speedway the racing surface is old and new tires are a big advantage. ”I didn’t want to make a big mistake and give up a big chunk of time there, because I knew somebody was going to be faster coming through the field,” Harvick said. “But it all timed itself out pretty good, and everything worked out.”
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was behind the standings by six points over Elliott Sadler. He was expected to do well at Texas. It didn’t work out that way. He fought a loose race car the entire race. It looked like Elliott Sadler was going to improve his standings. On the last pit stop Ricky and his team took a wild swing at the set up and put four rounds of wedge into the car. Ricky began a wild charge to the front of the field. He was able to race back up to fourth place.
While Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was driving up through the field, Elliott Sadler’s car was falling back through the field. What looked like a promising night for Elliott quickly faded. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Elliott Sadler are now tied for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship.
Ryan Blaney posted his career-best NASCAR Nationwide finish by finishing second. Kyle Busch was third, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. fourth and Denny Hamlin fifth.
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