No. 4 LOCKED INTO THE CHAMPIONSHIP 4!

FORT WORTH, TX – November 5, 2018 – Kevin Harvick won at Texas Motor Speedway and is locked into the Championship 4 for the fourth time in the last five years. Two Ford Performance drivers have secured positions to run for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship in the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami in two weeks. This marked Harvick’s eighth win in the 2018 season and 45th of his Cup Series career.

“What a great weekend for Stewart-Haas Racing and Ford Performance,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “Congratulations to Kevin, Cole, Gene, Tony, and the entire SHR crew. Kevin and the team executed from start to finish today and Cole drove a remarkable Xfinity race on Saturday. The team at Roush Yates Engines is proud to be part of these teams and we are working hard for wins every weekend for Ford Performance.”

The Ford Fusions started the weekend out strong, sweeping pole qualifying 1-5 with Ryan Blaney recording his third pole of the season, followed by SHR teammates Clint Bowyer in second, Harvick third and Aric Almirola in fourth while fellow Ford Performance teammate Brad Keselowski started fifth.

The AAA Texas 500 came down to a two-lap sprint between Ford teammates Harvick and Blaney. Harvick had led 171 laps, when the eighth caution of the race came out, with just six laps to go in the race, moving it into overtime. The No. 4 and the No. 12 lined up side-by-side, with Harvick taking the outside. Harvick made a power move, off the top, to blast by Blaney to take the lead and the checkered flag. The No. 4 proved to be the car to beat by winning Stage 1, Stage 2 and leading a race high 177 laps.

“It was a big day for all of us,” commented Harvick in Victory Lane. “For me on the restarts and to win the race on the restart late at the end. The guys on pit road had a solid day and gained spots on pit road and Rodney made great calls. All around, just a great day of execution.”

The race ended with a 1-2-3 Ford Performance finish with Blaney coming in second and Joey Logano finishing a solid third. Stewart-Haas teammates Kurt Busch and Almirola came in seventh and eighth respectively.

As the Ford Performance Playoff drivers move onto Phoenix they line up in the standings as follows: P1 Harvick, P2 Logano, P5 Busch, P7 Almirola, and P8 Bowyer.

On Saturday, Cole Custer won his first NASCAR Xfinity Series race of the 2018 season at Texas Motor Speedway and automatically advanced into the Xfinity Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami.
The O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge saw a record 13 race cautions for the series at the Texas Motor Speedway. The final caution came out at a perfect time for the No. 00, setting up a two-lap shootout for the checkered flag, with Tyler Reddick and Austin Cindric. Custer battled door to door and held off Reddick for the victory. Custer led 16 laps out of the 200-lap race.

“I can’t believe it,” Custer stated in Victory Lane. “The 1 {Elliott Sadler} is the best pusher in the series and I hated that I didn’t have him behind me. We did all we could. I drove it in deeper than I have all weekend and it worked out. I am pumped for Autodesk, their first time on the car. Gene Haas, I wouldn’t be here without him and Haas Automation. I am pumped. We are going to Homestead, and I think we have a great shot of winning.”

Custer now leads the Xfinity Playoff standings, being the first driver to secure a spot in the Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami.

Going into the final qualifying race before Homestead-Miami the MENCS and NXS teams head out west to Phoenix, ISM Raceway this weekend.

19 CHAMPIONSHIPS – 353 WINS – 316 POLES!
*Photos courtesy of NASCAR Media

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