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25 Lap Recap & Results: O’Reilly Auto Parts 500

21st Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts 500
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Texas Motor Speedway
Sunday, April 09, 2017

RACE STATUS: Complete

Kevin Harvick neared boss Tony Stewart’s Texas track record when he took the pole position in qualifying on Friday. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Laps 1 – 25: Kevin Harvick, who came close to a track record in Friday qualifying, started from the pole, with Ryan Blaney alongside. Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top five starters. Austin Dillon went to the garage during pace laps for a rear suspension issue. He was not able to make repairs prior to the start, but would join the race over a dozen laps down. Harvick shot to the lead fairly quickly as the field fell mostly into single-file formation. Bowyer and Keselowski, respectively, settled into second and third. Caution fell on lap three for debris. Harvick chose to restart on the outside of the front row. Caution fell again just past lap 10. Jeffrey Earnhardt, Gray Gaulding and Reed Sorenson sustained damage. Ryan Blaney would emerge as the leader after the yellow, as the field raced toward a caution planned for lap 30.

Laps 26 – 50: Pit stops during a lap 30 tire wear check under caution saw Harvick lead Blaney and Logano off of pit road. Blaney picked up where he left off, leading The 21st Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts 500. Harvick maintained second with teammate Bowyer in tow.

Laps 51 – 75: Brad Keselowski fell outside the top five, as did teammate Logano.

Laps 76 – 100: Martin Truex Jr appeared in the top three, knocking Harvick back to third. Ryan Blaney’s lead turned into dominance. He led Truex by nearly a full second and Harvick by five seconds. Blaney led the completion of stage one on lap 85. The Furniture Row Racing team got Truex out in front for the restart with a fast pit stop. Twenty-nine of 40 cars remained on the lead lap during the stage caution.

Laps 101 – 125: Harvick returned to second place and closed the gap behind leader Blaney by a few tenths of a second. Kyle Larson, who started deep in the field, moved into fifth. Debris brought out caution five near the 125-lap mark. Blaney led Truex off of pit road, with Jamie McMurray advancing to third.

Laps 126 – 150: Harvick fell to the back of the top ten. Meanwhile, Jimmie Johnson replaced him in the top three. Blaney led Johnson by nearly two seconds at lap 137, followed by McMurray, Dale Earnhardt Jr and Kyle Larson. Harvick rode sixth. Chase Elliott, Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch rounded out the top ten.

Laps 151 – 175: Blaney’s spotter warned him to be cautious lapping JJ Yeley, saying, “remember the seven ran you tight last time.” A caution near the end of stage two set up a shootout. Blaney would lead the stage after blasting ahead of Johnson on the restart. He called for “the same changes” as last time” on the pit stop and said his slightly tight car was an advantage late in long runs. Blaney also said he was able to launch the restart really well on two new tires and asked his crew chief to keep that in mind later in the race.

Laps 176 – 200: Blaney pitted for four tires under the stage caution and restarted just inside the top 20.Brad Keselowski would lead the opening of the final stage, flanked by Kevin Harvick. Keselowski surged ahead at the drop of the green, but Harvick would take over The O’Reilly Auto Parts 500. Keselowski, Earnhardt, Truex and Bowyer followed.

Laps 201 – 225: Ryan Blaney worked his way back into the top 15. The top three, respectively consisting of Harvick, Earnhardt and Truex, were separated by less than a second for the first time. Jimmie Johnson fell outside the top ten. WIth 17 laps worth of fuel remaining, Blaney and his Wood Brothers Racing team discussed their upcoming green-flag pit stop. The plan was to run a little longer in hopes of a caution, but an audible brought the 21 car to pit road the next lap to capitalize on an empty pit road.

Laps 226 – 250: Martin Truex Jr was the race leader after the pit stop cycle. Stage one and two leader and clear dominant driver Ryan Blaney ran tenth.

Laps 251 – 275: Truex led Harvick by nearly three seconds. Green-flag pit stops again occured with around 60 laps remaining. Kevin Harvick won the pit road battle, but he had to wait for Joey Logano to pit before going to the lead.

Laps 276 – 300: Ryan Blaney and Corey LaJoie made hard contact. Neither spun or brought a caution. Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr, respectively, lurked in fourth and fifth positions.

Laps 301 – 325: The leaders came to pit road just after lap 300 for what was expected to possibly be the last stop of the day. Logano, who was on a much later pit cycle and had less than a dozen laps on his tires, did not make the trip down pit road. The strategy paid off early in the run. Logano led Johnson and Harvick at lap 312. Johnson would overtake him before lap 320.

Laps 326 – 333: Jimmie Johnson led Joey Logano by a half-second. Larson, Harvick and Earnhardt completed the top five. Blaney, running 13th, appeared to be out of contention. Larson got by Logano and made a last-lap charge, but came up short.

Lap 334: Jimmie Johnson won The 21st Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

 

Unofficial Results

  1. Jimmie Johnson
  2. Kyle Larson
  3. Joey Logano
  4. Kevin Harvick
  5. Dale Earnhardt Jr
  6. Brad Keselowski
  7. Jamie McMurray
  8. Martin Truex Jr
  9. Chase Elliott
  10. Kurt Busch
  11. Clint Bowyer
  12. Ryan Blaney
  13. Trevor Bayne
  14. Ricky Stenhouse Jr
  15. Kyle Busch
  16. Matt Kenseth
  17. Ty Dillon
  18. Aric Almirola
  19. Daniel Suarez
  20. AJ Allmendinger
  21. Chris Buescher (-1 lap)
  22. Erik Jones (-1 lap)
  23. Michael McDowell (-1 lap)
  24. Danica Patrick (-1 lap)
  25. Denny Hamlin (-1 lap)
  26. Ryan Newman (-2 laps)
  27. JJ Yeley (-4 laps)
  28. David Ragan (-5 laps)
  29. Landon Cassill (-5 laps)
  30. Cole Whitt (-7 laps)
  31. Matt DiBenedetto (-7 laps)
  32. Corey LaJoie (-8 laps)
  33. Austin Dillon (-12 laps)
  34. Gray Gaulding (-12 laps)
  35. Reed Sorenson (-15 laps)
  36. Paul Menard (-20 laps)
  37. Derrike Cope (-21 laps)
  38. Kasey Kahne (-31 laps)
  39. Timmy Hill (-230 laps)
  40. Jeffreay Earnhardt (-325 laps)

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