Was Kyle Busch's ride that good, or were the pit guns that bad?
Harvick, who won the first three of the first four races of the season, finished second -.3 second back in his Stewart-Haas Racing Ford. He was passed on the first lap by teammate Harvick, who got into the low preferred line around the track as Busch went high.
"It feels awesome", Busch said. "But I just had to make sure to do everything I could to hit all my marks and everything to focus on making sure that I did the right things to block his air a little bit". The win, his third at Texas, marked the 14th consecutive year that Busch has recorded at least one victory in the Cup Series. This has been a trying couple of months.
"He did a good job of not making any mistakes there at the end", Harvick said, "and kept his vehicle on the bottom, and never gave us an opening to really drive in there and capitalize on a mistake".
The 501-mile race was marred by several wrecks, including a seven-car pileup during the second stage that knocked out some of the top drivers, including Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and defending race victor Jimmie Johnson.
The series is back to short-track racing next Sunday at the half-mile Bristol Motor Speedway, where Johnson and Kyle Busch both won races a year ago. Busch, who won the second stage, led for 116 laps, while Harvick, who dominated the first stage, led 87. "Any time you can win at a track that isn't one of your favorites or your bests, it means even more".
"So cool though to be in Victory Lane here - finally this year and punch our ticket into the Playoffs". After making his final pit stop with 44 laps to go, Busch cycled back to the top spot and then held off Harvick. A rash of miscues on pit road - that included a slow stop, a wheel not fastened securely and a penalty for too many crew members over the wall - undid his bid for a fourth victory on the year.
"We did overcome a lot", said Harvick, clearly agitated over the quality of air guns being issued to crews by NASCAR.
"It was just an absolutely pathetic two days on pit road", Harvick said. When you have a pit gun problem like we have multiple times and been able to overcome it and then today we couldn't overcome it.
"This is four out of seven weeks that we've had trouble with the [NASCAR-issued] pit guns", Harvick said.
Kevin Harvick finished second in spite of a rough day from his team on pit road.
Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Larson were both victimized by right-front tire failures resulting in each being involved in separate hard crashes.
Rookie William Byron came in 10th for his best career finish. "It took us the whole run to be able to get everything back together and do everything we needed to do to make up a position".
"Just blew a right-front tire out of nowhere". His auto would run fast enough. "You try to focus on those tracks to make it more meaningful to get it done".
McMurray, who started 24th in the No. 1 Cessna Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, rallied for his 11th top-10 finish in 29 races in Fort Worth. He quickly built up a multi second advantage over second-place Harvick, who had the fastest vehicle for much of the afternoon. Jones likewise collected his first top five of the season.
"We had a good auto". "Kevin got to within three-four-five vehicle lengths of us but we held him off". He also lost time on a previous stop because a lug nut became lodged in a jack and later was sent to the back of the field as a penalty for an unsecured tire.