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Texas checkered, black flags

Winners and losers from the weekend of racing at Texas Motor Speedway.

CHECKERED FLAGS

Kyle Larson

Victory number eight of the season put Larson into the Championship 4 with a shot to win the NASCAR Cup Series title. He led three times for 256 laps, including the final 218 laps to dominate Sunday in Texas.

William Byron

No longer in the playoff picture, Byron was still a major player in Texas. He came home in the runner-up spot for his fourth top-two finish of the season.

Hendrick Motorsports

The organization had its playoff hopes sliced in half last week after Byron and Alex Bowman were eliminated from contention. However, the Larson-Byron performance in Texas was the sixth time the team finished 1-2 this season.

Brad Keselowski

He just keeps hanging in the playoff race. Keselowski’s fourth-place run on Sunday was just his second top-five finish in the previous 11 races — but both came in last three.

John Hunter Nemechek

He’s still in the Camping World Truck Series championship race, announced he’d return to Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2022 and capped his week with a victory in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Texas.

BLACK FLAGS

Joey Logano

A rare blown engine was a gut punch for Logano in terms of his championship aspirations. He dropped to the bottom of the grid and is 43 points below the elimination line, meaning he’ll more than likely need to win at either Kansas or Martinsville to get to the Championship 4.

Martin Truex Jr.

Contact first from Daniel Suarez and then the wall eliminated Truex Jr. from Sunday’s race. He is 22 points out of the last playoff transfer spot, and although he’s not officially in must-win territory, he’ll have some heavy lifting to do over the next couple weeks.

Tyler Reddick

He’s not on too many Christmas card lists after a rather aggressive day behind the wheel at Texas. He did finish ninth, but Reddick didn’t make too many friends on Sunday, especially those remaining in the playoff discussion.

JTG Daugherty Racing

Both Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Ryan Preece were caught up in the early race multi-car accident on Sunday and the organization was loading up to head home before a quarter of the race was in the books.

Elliott-Harvick Feud

Let it go.