AAA Texas 500

Aric Almirola: Joey Logano ‘continues to make things harder on himself’


Another race, another Cup driver mad at Joey Logano.

A week after he ticked off Martin Truex Jr. with a bump-and-run on the last lap to win at Martinsville, Logano had Aric Almirola express his displeasure with how he raced in the closing laps of Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Almirola was unhappy with how Lognao drove on a restart with 32 laps to go in the scheduled distance. Almirola, who started the race at the rear for an unapproved body adjustment, was third on the restart as the field entered Turn 3.

Logano was close on his outside when Almirola’s No. 10 Ford got loose and shot out of the groove and lost multiple positions. Logano finished third and Almirola placed eighth.

“He just continues to make things harder on himself,” Almirola told NBCSN. “If that is the way he wants to race me when he is already locked into (Miami) and we are out here fighting for our lives, that is fine. When (Miami) comes around if I am not in, he will know it.”

With one race left until the championship round, Almirola is seventh on the playoff grid 57 points behind the cutoff.

When asked how far he’s willing to take things with Logano over the final two races, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver said “I will just make it really difficult on him.

“He made it really difficult on me today which was really unnecessary. He could have run fourth, fifth, 11th, it doesn’t matter. He is still going to go to (Miami) and race for a championship, it is just not smart.”

Team Penske declined to comment to NBCSN on Almirola’s criticisms.

Watch the videos above and below for more.

Kevin Harvick wins Cup playoff race at Texas in overtime


Kevin Harvick won Sunday’s Cup playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway in overtime to claim his series-leading eighth victory of the year.

Harvick easily cleared Ryan Blaney on the restart and went unchallenged to the finish. He locked himself into the championship four at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The Stewart-Haas Racing driver led 177 laps and swept every stage on the way to his first win of the playoffs. It’s his second win in three races at Texas after not having won at the 1.5-mile track prior to last fall.

“Just really, really proud of everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing for these cars we’ve had, really for five years now,” Harvick told NBCSN. “The expectations are to win. It’s like I told you guys before the race, we don’t race for points, we race for wins. We don’t come here to count our fingers and toes to figure out how to win. We want to earn it. Today we earned our way in.”

The victory gives Harvick a playoff win in seven consecutive seasons.

The top five was completed by Blaney, Joey Logano, Erik Jones and Kyle Larson.

The overtime finish was set up by a wreck that involved Daniel Suarez, Joey Gase and AJ Allmendinger.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Kevin Harvick

STAGE 2 WINNER: Kevin Harvick

MORE: Race results

MORE: Point standings

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Joey Logano led 54 laps and earned his sixth straight top 10 … Erik Jones finished fourth for the third time at Texas … Martin Truex Jr. rebounded after starting from the rear for an engine change, an unscheduled pit stop for a vibration and a pit penalty to finish ninth. It’s his first top 10 this year that wasn’t in the top five.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Denny Hamlin and Clint Bowyer placed 30th and 26th respectively after Bowyer got loose and made contact with Hamlin on Lap 1 in Turn 2. They went multiple laps down to repair damage on pit road …  William Byron, who started from the rear for an inspection failure, finished 16th after he got into the back of Jimmie Johnson on Lap 97 and spun … Kyle Busch was unable to bounce back from an unscheduled pit stop for a wheel vibration in Stage 2 and placed 17th.

NOTABLE: Kevin Harvick is now tied with Bobby Allison for third all-time for wins in a season for a driver 40 or more years old.

QUOTE OF THE RACE NO. 1: “When (Miami) comes around, if I’m not in it, he’ll know it.” – Aric Almirola expressing his displeasure to NBCSN on how he was raced by Joey Logano.

QUOTE OF THE RACE NO. 2: “I don’t know what genius decided to pave this place or take the banking out of (Turns) 1 and 2.  Not a good move for the entertainment factor, in my opinion.” – Chase Elliott after he was asked about the difficulty to pass.

WHAT’S NEXT: Can-Am 500 at ISM Raceway at 2:30 p.m. ET on Nov. 11 on NBC

Check back for more.

Today’s Cup playoff race at Texas: Start time, lineup and more

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After the memorable finish at Martinsville last weekend, the Cup playoffs continue today with the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

There are just two races left to determine the championship four at Miami.

Here’s all the info you need for today’s playoff race:

(All times are Eastern)

START: U.S. Army Maj. Ed Pulido (Retired) will give the command to start engines at 3:07 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:16 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 334 laps (501 miles) around the 1.5-mile speedway.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 85. Stage 2 ends on Lap 170.

PRERACE SCHEDULE: Garage opens at 9:30 a.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 1 p.m. Driver introductions are at 2:30 p.m.

MOMENT OF SILENCE: Will be held at 3 p.m. for Mary Hulman George, Chairman of the Board Emeritus of Hulman & Company, which owns and operates Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

NATIONAL ANTHEMAir National Guard Band of the Southwest will perform the anthem at 3:01 p.m.

TV/RADIO: NBCSN will broadcast the race beginning at 3 p.m. Coverage begins at 1 p.m. with NASCAR America on NBCSN. Countdown to Green begins at 2:30 p.m. Performance Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 2 p.m. and also can be heard at SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will have PRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: calls for sunny skies with a high of 65 degrees and a zero percent chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Kyle Busch led 116 laps in the spring and beat Kevin Harvick and Jamie McMurray. Harvick won this race last year over Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin.

TO THE REAR: Martin Truex Jr. (engine change), Daniel Suarez (engine change), Chris Buescher (engine change), Matt DiBenedetto (transmission change), Aric Almirola (body adjustment)

PRE-RACE INSPECTION: William Byron will start from the rear and a crew member will ejected for the race after his car failed inspection three times. Jimmie Johnson will also start from the rear for failing inspection.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the starting lineup

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. tops final Cup practice at Texas

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Ricky Stenhouse Jr. topped the final Cup practice for Sunday’s playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway, posting a best speed of 192.349 mph.

The Roush Fenway Racing driver recorded 28 laps in the session.

Kurt Busch followed as the fastest playoff driver at 192.075 mph.

The top five was completed by Martin Truex Jr. (191.884 mph), Paul Menard (191.782) and Ryan Blaney (191.761).

Joey Logano, who was 18th fastest, recorded the most laps with 59.

Kevin Harvick had the best 10-lap average at 190.512 mph.

There were no incidents in the session.

Click here for the practice report.

Aric Almirola fastest in Saturday’s first Cup practice

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Aric Almirola posted the fastest speed in Saturday’s first Cup practice at Texas Motor Speedway, recording a speed of 193.854 mph.

He was followed by Kyle Busch (193.805 mph), Clint Bowyer (193.771), Brad Keselowski (193.555) and Denny Hamlin (193.403).

Pole-sitter Ryan Blaney was 13th fastest.

Kevin Harvick had the best 10-lap average at 192.022 mph.

JJ Yeley got into the wall and suffered minor damage in the session.

Click here for the practice report.