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NASCAR Texas 2017: Schedule, results, and news

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Everything you need to know about the AAA Texas 500.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA Texas 500 Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images

Chase Elliott was within a few laps of winning his first Monster Energy Cup Series race Sunday at Martinsville Speedway, a win that would’ve advanced the Hendrick Motorsports into the title round of NASCAR’s playoffs.

But there was no victory celebration, nor is Elliott yet guaranteed a spot in the four-driver championship finale. Thanks to a seismic shove from Denny Hamlin, Elliott went spinning into the wall with two laps remaining, crashing his hopes for a first-ever win. Kyle Busch would win the First Data 500 and with it earn a pass to race for the Cup Series title Nov. 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Now, Elliott finds himself 26 points behind Kevin Harvick for the final provisional transfer position. That deficit places Elliott in a must-win situation where his title hopes depend on him winning either Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway or the following week at Phoenix Raceway. Anything less a win, and he’ll be one of four drivers eliminated when the playoff semifinals concludes at Phoenix.

Texas schedule and how to watch

Practices

Session 1: Friday, 1 p.m. - 2:25 p.m.

Session 2: Saturday, 3 p.m. - 3:55 p.m.

Session 3: Saturday, 5 p.m. - 5:50 p.m.

TV/streaming: NBCSN (Friday); CNBC (Saturday) (session 1 stream) (session 2 stream) (session 3 stream)

Qualifying

Time: Friday, 6:15 p.m.

TV/streaming: NBC Live TV app (live stream)

AAA Texas 500

Time/green flag: 2 p.m/2:15 p.m.

Distance/laps: 501 miles/334 laps

TV/streaming: NBCSN (live stream)

What to watch for at Texas:

Winning not retribution should be Chase Elliott’s focus at Texas.

Smartly, Elliott’s focus is not on vengeance, but instead on winning. Although his chances of qualifying for the Final Four were diminished by what transpired at Martinsville, a path still exists for him to get to Homestead with a shot at the title.

Working in his favor is how theTexas preview: Playoff drama builds heading into second race of Cup Series semifinals schedule sets up. Specifically, the high-speed, mile-and-a-half Texas oval where he’s never finished worse than ninth in three career starts. And on similarly sized speedways, he has been particularly strong recently, having finished fourth or better in the previous four races on such tracks -- including two seconds and a fourth in the playoffs.

However, another top 10 on Sunday does Elliott little good. What he requires is a win.

Texas preview: Playoff drama builds heading into second race of Cup Series semifinals

Chase Elliott has not forgotten nor forgiven Denny Hamlin for costing him a key playoff win. There may or may not be some lingering feelings between Ryan Blaney and Kevin Harvick. And Jimmie Johnson doesn’t at all resemble the driver who’s won a record-tying seven Monster Energy Cup Series championships.

That is how the NASCAR world turns heading into the AAA Texas 500 Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway (2:15 p.m. ET, NBCSN), the second of three semifinal races that will determine the four drivers who will vie for the championship in two weeks at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Texas qualifying results:

Kurt Busch captured the pole position with a scorching lap that eclipsed 200 mph and was the fastest in NASCAR history on a mile-and-a-half track. Busch’s lap average speed of 200.915 mph bumped Hamlin off the top position and earned him his first pole of the season and 22nd of his career.

Kevin Harvick qualified third, followed by rookie Erik Jones in fourth and Kyle Busch in fifth. Rookie Daniel Suarez, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski completed the top 10.

Elliott’s tough week continued Friday when he was one of seven drivers whose cars failed to pass pre-qualifying technical inspection, preventing them from posting a lap. Elliott, the only playoff-eligible among the group, will start 34th on Sunday.

The others who did make it onto the track were Trevor Bayne, Gray Gaulding, Matt Kenseth, Corey LaJoie, Joey Logano and Reed Sorenson. The cars of Hamlin and Harvick each needed multiple attempts to pass inspection, with both drivers getting cleared with just a few minutes remaining in Round 1.

Texas starting lineup:

AAA Texas 500 lineup

Position Driver Make Speed (mph)
Position Driver Make Speed (mph)
1 Kurt Busch Ford 200.915
2 Denny Hamlin Toyota 200.617
3 Kevin Harvick Ford 200.378
4 Erik Jones Toyota 200.326
5 Kyle Busch Toyota 200.252
6 Daniel Suarez Toyota 199.593
7 Martin Truex, Jr. Toyota 199.431
8 Ryan Blaney Ford 199.38
9 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 198.727
10 Brad Keselowski Ford 198.478
11 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 198.143
12 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Ford 198.078
13 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 197.694
14 Danica Patrick Ford 197.643
15 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 197.534
16 A.J. Allmendinger Chevrolet 197.469
17 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Chevrolet 197.441
18 Aric Almirola Ford 197.267
19 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 197.102
20 Clint Bowyer Ford 196.528
21 Daniel Hemric Chevrolet 196.221
22 Landon Cassill Ford 195.645
23 Michael McDowell Chevrolet 194.196
24 David Ragan Ford 194.175
25 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 195.15
26 Chris Buescher Chevrolet 194.77
27 Ty Dillon Chevrolet 193.924
28 Matt DiBenedetto Ford 193.903
29 Cole Whitt Chevrolet 191.877
30 Joey Gase Chevrolet 188.042
31 Ray Black, Jr. Chevrolet 187.104
32 Jeffrey Earnhardt Chevrolet 187.007
33 David Starr Chevrolet 181.794
34 Chase Elliott Chevrolet No speed
35 Matt Kenseth Toyota No speed
36 Joey Logano Ford No speed
37 Trevor Bayne Ford No speed
38 Reed Sorenson Toyota No speed
39 Corey LaJoie Toyota No speed
40 Gray Gaulding Toyota No speed

Texas results:

Kevin Harvick ran down then passed Martin Truex Jr. to win the AAA Texas 500 Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway, locking himself in the championship playoff round of NASCAR’s Cup Series playoffs.

Harvick utilized slower traffic to his advantage and passed Truex with 10 laps remaining. The 2014 Monster Energy Series champion then pulled away to win his second race of the season and first of the playoffs.

Truex finished second, with Denny Hamlin third, Matt Kenseth fourth, and Brad Keselowski fifth. Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch, and Erik Jones completed the top 10.

The win was Harvick’s first in 30 starts at the 1.5-mile speedway. He is now won at all but two tracks (Kentucky Speedway and Pocono Raceway) of the 23 on the Cup Series schedule.

Harvick’s victory in the second of three semifinal round races qualifies him for the four-driver championship finale Nov. 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He joins Truex and Kyle Busch as those locked into the final with one semifinal race remaining. Busch earned his spot by winning the semifinal opener last week at Martinsville Speedway, while Truex makes it based off his points accumulation within the round.

The other five playoff drivers can qualify for the best-finish-wins-the-championship finale by winning next week’s elimination race at Phoenix Raceway. If Busch, Harvick, Truex or a non- playoff-eligible drivers wins one at Phoenix, the remaining spot will be determined by points.

Texas finishing order:

AAA Texas 500 results

Start Finish Driver Make Laps completed Status Laps led Laps
Start Finish Driver Make Laps completed Status Laps led Laps
1 3 Kevin Harvick Ford 334 running 38
2 7 Martin Truex, Jr. Toyota 334 running 107
3 2 Denny Hamlin Toyota 334 running 65
4 35 Matt Kenseth Toyota 334 running 29
5 10 Brad Keselowski Ford 334 running 0
6 8 Ryan Blaney Ford 334 running 0
7 36 Joey Logano Ford 334 running 1
8 34 Chase Elliott Chevrolet 334 running 1
9 1 Kurt Busch Ford 334 running 0
10 4 Erik Jones Toyota 334 running 0
11 19 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 334 running 3
12 12 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Ford 334 running 0
13 15 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 334 running 1
14 6 Daniel Suarez Toyota 334 running 0
15 18 Aric Almirola Ford 334 running 0
16 16 A.J. Allmendinger Chevrolet 334 running 0
17 14 Danica Patrick Ford 333 running 0
18 13 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 333 running 0
19 5 Kyle Busch Toyota 333 running 7
20 25 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 333 running 1
21 23 Michael McDowell Chevrolet 333 running 4
22 26 Chris Buescher Chevrolet 333 running 0
23 21 Paul Menard Chevrolet 332 running 0
24 27 Ty Dillon Chevrolet 332 running 0
25 28 Matt DiBenedetto Ford 332 running 0
26 22 Landon Cassill Ford 331 running 0
27 9 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 331 running 0
28 37 Trevor Bayne Ford 330 running 0
29 29 Cole Whitt Chevrolet 330 running 0
30 24 David Ragan Ford 329 running 0
31 38 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet 325 running 0
32 30 Joey Gase Chevrolet 322 running 0
33 32 Jeffrey Earnhardt Chevrolet 322 running 0
34 31 Ray Black, Jr. Chevrolet 305 running 0
35 17 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Chevrolet 304 running 3
36 20 Clint Bowyer Ford 303 running 0
37 11 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 282 crash 74
38 33 David Starr Chevrolet 237 crash 0
39 39 Corey LaJoie Toyota 227 engine 0
40 40 Gray Gaulding Toyota 159 engine 0