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The Latest: Harvick blows tire, crashes out in Vegas

(AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

LAS VEGAS (AP) The Latest on the NASCAR playoff opener at Las Vegas (all times local):

2:22 p.m.

Kevin Harvick is out of the NASCAR playoff race in Las Vegas after blowing his right front tire during the second stage.

Harvick's blowout also took out pole-sitter Erik Jones, who couldn't react quickly enough and rear-ended Harvick with 120 laps to go at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Harvick and Kyle Busch were tied atop the overall standings heading into the 10-race playoff.

Harvick likely doesn't need a fantastic result from the first set of playoff races to advance, but the veteran driver was still furious about his tire failure.

"We had a great car, and then you put a set of tires on it and you can't hardly make it through the field," he said. "I'm not happy about anything right now."

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2:15 p.m.

The NASCAR Cup series playoffs have begun at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Erik Jones started on the pole and was passed on the opening lap by Joey Logano as the 16 playoff competitors began their 10-race chase to the big finale at Homestead. Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. also held a lead during the first stage, with Truex winning it.

Las Vegas has a second race this season for the first time. The temperature reached only 58 degrees Fahrenheit (14.44 Celsius) during the March race, but the drivers were sweating in 99-degree (37.22) heat from the start on Sunday.

The desert sun made the 1+-mile track even slicker than usual, forcing drivers to exercise caution while looking for new grooves.

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Updated September 17, 2018

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