ThatsRacin

NASCAR Cup Series | Results and 3 takeaways from Sunday’s race at Texas

Kyle Busch won Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway for his first win of the 2018 season.
Kyle Busch won Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway for his first win of the 2018 season. TNS

Kyle Busch won the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 on Sunday, his first win of the 2018 season, but there are other implications from the race. Here are the three biggest takeaways from Sunday’s race in Texas:

1. Finally, a breakthrough

Listen, it doesn’t take an expert to explain how good Kyle Busch has been this season. The man came into Sunday’s race with three second-place finishes in six races. There isn’t a driver on the Cup Series circuit who doesn’t envy a six-race run like that … except for the ones who have won. And now Busch is one of those. He was going to win sooner or later, and there will certainly be more to follow, but it’s good to see Busch capitalize on his early-season momentum and try to build a cushion for the rest of the season. But that figures to be tricky because …

2. Kevin Harvick will not go away quietly

Harvick was the story of the early season, winning three straight races and cementing himself as a legitimate championship favorite. On Sunday, he proved that form was no fluke. Harvick gave Kyle Busch just about all he could handle coming off the last restart, and although Busch was able to stay ahead and come out with the victory, there’s a lesson to be learned here — Harvick isn’t backing down anytime soon, and he has the goods to win his second championship. Would anyone be surprised if the last 10 laps at Homestead come down to these two?

SamanthaBusch
Samantha Busch fist-bumps a crew member to celebrate her husband Kyle Busch’s (18) victory in Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 race at Texas Motor Speedway. Ross Hailey TNS

3. Crashes prove beneficial for young guns

A few crashes, including one about midway through the race that hooked Jimmie Johnson, Aric Almirola and Denny Hamlin, made for an interesting leaderboard when all was said and done. That Busch and Harvick finished 1-2 is nothing new, but after that? Erik Jones and Ryan Blaney both finished in the Top 5, and William Byron and Bubba Wallace both notched Top 10s. This is Byron’s first and Wallace’s second (also the Daytona 500) appearance in the Top 10, and while they might not be regulars yet, they will be one day. For now, they’ll have to be glad to finally have a taste.

O’Reilly Auto Parts 500

The full race results, from the Associated Press:

Sunday

At Texas Motor Speedway

Fort Worth, Texas

Lap length: 1.5 miles

(Starting position in parentheses)

1. (8) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 334.

2. (2) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 334.

3. (24) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 334.

4. (21) Erik Jones, Toyota, 334.

5. (4) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 334.

6. (7) Joey Logano, Ford, 334.

7. (1) Kurt Busch, Ford, 334.

8. (15) Darrell Wallace Jr. , Chevrolet, 334.

9. (3) Clint Bowyer, Ford, 334.

10. (33) William Byron , Chevrolet, 334.

BuschBaby
Kyle Busch (18) plays with his son Brexton as his wife, Samantha, offers support after he won Sunday’s O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Bob Booth TNS

11. (20) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 333.

12. (13) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 333.

13. (23) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 332.

14. (27) Michael McDowell, Ford, 332.

15. (18) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 331.

16. (30) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 329.

17. (28) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 328.

18. (31) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 325.

19. (34) Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 324.

20. (32) Gray Gaulding, Toyota, 322.

21. (35) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 321.

22. (36) Harrison Rhodes, Chevrolet, 319.

23. (29) David Ragan, Ford, 317.

24. (22) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, Engine, 316.

25. (26) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, Suspension, 315.

26. (17) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 304.

27. (25) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, Accident, 303.

28. (16) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 294.

29. (14) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 290.

30. (19) Paul Menard, Ford, Accident, 215.

31. (37) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, Overheating, 209.

32. (12) Aric Almirola, Ford, Accident, 178.

33. (11) Brad Keselowski, Ford, Accident, 178.

34. (5) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, Accident, 177.

35. (9) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, Accident, 175.

36. (10) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, Accident, 126.

37. (6) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, Accident, 80.

RACE STATISTICS

Average Speed of Race Winner: 141.714 mph.

Time of Race: 3 hours, 32 minutes, 7 seconds. Margin of Victory: 0.300 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 8 for 48 laps.

Lead Changes: 16 among 8 drivers.

Lap Leaders: Kurt Busch 0; K. Harvick 1-43; D. Hamlin 44-55; K. Harvick 56-86; Kyle Busch 87-116; K. Harvick 117-129; Kurt Busch 130-166; Kyle Busch 167-172; Kurt Busch 173; E. Jones 174-231; Kurt Busch 232-233; W. Byron 234; E. Jones 235-240; Kyle Busch 241-290; C. Elliott 291-294; R. Stenhouse Jr. 295-304; Kyle Busch 305-334.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): Kyle Busch 4 times for 116 laps; K. Harvick 3 times for 87 laps; E. Jones 2 times for 64 laps; Kurt Busch 3 times for 40 laps; D. Hamlin 1 time for 12 laps; R. Stenhouse Jr. 1 time for 10 laps; C. Elliott 1 time for 4 laps; W. Byron 1 time for 1 lap.

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