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NASCAR Playoffs Start Round of 8 in Texas

Kyle Larson won his record third road race of the season — and series-high seventh victory overall — on the Roval at Charlotte expanding his lead over Denny Hamlin by 35 points, Martin Truex Jr. by 36 and Ryan Blaney by 41 as the NASCAR playoffs round of eight opens at Texas Motorspeedway Sunday for the EchoPark Automotive 500.


Others still in championship contention include former champions Kyle Busch (2015, 2019), defending champion Chase Elliott, Joey Logano (2018) and Brad Keselowski (2012). 


2014 champion Kevin Harvick failed to advance past the second round for the first time since the format was introduced in 2014. Also eliminated were Alex Bowman, Christopher Bell and William Byron.


Harvick nearly knocked Elliot from the playoffs with a mid-race takeout but Elliot recovered and fought his way back into contention, getting close to Harvick late in the race and seemingly forced Harvick to over-maneuver a turn and totaled the front end of his Ford Mustang, ending his day and his championship hopes.


The question coming into Texas is - is the dispute over? Harvick has not said it is or isn't. Elliot says he's focused on defending his title. 


Race time Sunday is 2 pm. 


The XFinity Series will run Saturday at 3 pm.


A.J. Allmendinger won for the fifth time this season, and the third consecutive year on the Charlotte Roval, to advance to the playoffs’ round of eight.


Allmendinger jumped from fourth to first in the points race, six better than defending series champion Austin Cindric. Justin Allgaier is 29 points back, Noah Gragson 33 back and Daniel Hemric 34 behind. 


Joining Allmendinger and Cindric in the next playoff round are Hemric, Justin Haley, Brandon Jones, Gragson, Allgaier and Harrison Burton. Jeb Burton, Myatt Snider, Jeremy Clements and Riley Herbst were eliminated.


Burton won in Texas last year after starting 12th.


Both circuits head to Kansas next weekend. 


The Camping World Truck Series is off until Oct. 30 when the series is in Martinsville. 

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