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Harvick wins at Kansas, clinches spot in Sprint Cup Chase's round of eight

Kevin Harvick points to his advancement in the chase after winning a Sprint Cup Series auto race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley) KSOW119

Kevin Harvick points to his advancement in the chase after winning a Sprint Cup Series auto race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley) KSOW119

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — No matter what kind of misfortune befalls Kevin Harvick in the early rounds of Sprint Cup's Chase for the Championship, his team always seems to get things together when it matters.

The No. 4 crew did it again Sunday.

One week after a mechanical issue doomed him to a lousy finish at Charlotte, and put his hopes of advancing to the round of eight in jeopardy, Harvick roared to the front on the final restart to win the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway, taking all of the pressure off next week's elimination race at Talladega.

"These races are hard to win, and these guys are so good at the details," said Harvick, the 2014 Cup champion, "and when you put their backs against the wall, they're even better. I'm so proud of them."

Harvick hung around the front all day and when Regan Smith brought out the final caution, Harvick pounced, passing Carl Edwards then keeping him at bay over the final 30 laps.

"I was pretty sure we were in control of the race," said Edwards, a Missouri native who has yet to win at what he considers his home track. "As much fun as I had running up front, it stings. There's negative emotions tied up with not winning here with that fast of a car."

It was the fourth win this season for Harvick in NASCAR's top series, and his second of the Chase — he rebounded from a poor performance at Chicago to win at New Hampshire and advance from the round of 16.

Other title contenders dealt with trouble all afternoon. Martin Truex had issues with a refueling mechanism that forced him to pit out of sequence. He wound up 11th, falling to seventh in points. Kurt Busch finished two spots back in 13th after having to go to his backup car after a spin in Saturday's practice.

Worst off was Brad Keselowski, who was tapped from behind by Denny Hamlin and spun, winding up 38th. He is seven points out of the eighth and final spot in the Chase.

NHRA: Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Drew Skillman (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) won their categories at the Texas Fall Nationals in Ennis.

Sprint Cup points

After five races in the 10-race Chase for the Championship. Only these 12 drivers are eligible for the title.

Driver PointsBack

Jimmie Johnson* 3,082—

Matt Kenseth 3,074 8

Kyle Busch 3,072 10

Carl Edwards 3,069 13

Kurt Busch 3,062 20

Martin Truex 3,058 24

Kevin Harvick* 3,048 34

Joey Logano 3,045 37

Austin Dillon 3,045 37

Denny Hamlin 3,039 43

Brad Keselowski 3,038 44

Chase Elliott 3,020 62

* Clinched spot in next phase

Up next

Alabama 500, 2 p.m. Sunday, Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway TV: NBCSN

Harvick wins at Kansas, clinches spot in Sprint Cup Chase's round of eight 10/16/16 [Last modified: Sunday, October 16, 2016 9:54pm]
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