Kevin Harvick wins Stage 1 at Texas; Keselowski, Kyle Busch in first lap tangle

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Kevin Harvick won Stage 1 of Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

But it was the opening lap of the scheduled 334-lap race that was the big story of the stage, when two of the eight remaining championship contenders got into trouble.

Kyle Busch, who is locked in to the championship race at Miami in two weeks by virtue of last Sunday’s win at Martinsville, appeared to get loose in Turn 2 and washed up into Brad Keselowski’s car.

Keselowski suffered a left rear flat tire and body damage, while Busch has damage to his right front, which could potentially hamper him in the entire race today.

Both drivers fell back to the last two spots in the 40-car field and also dropped one lap behind the leaders. But by the end of Stage 1, Keselowski had climbed to 26th and Kyle Busch was up to 30th, but both were still listed as one lap back.

Also of note, Jimmie Johnson, who won the spring race at Texas, is 28th.

Martin Truex Jr. is running second at the end of Stage 1, followed by Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson and pole sitter Kurt Busch.

Stage 2 will run from Laps 86 to 170.