Blaney wins after Johnson spins Truex at finish

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Monday 1st October, 2018 - 10:00am

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Ryan Blaney wins as Jimmie Johnson tries to recover in the background

Ryan Blaney has won on the Charlotte roval after Jimmie Johnson took out leader Martin Truex Jnr in the final corners and cost himself a Round of 12 spot.

Truex Jnr led on the final lap of the Bank of America Roval 400, the first road course race in the history of the Monster Energy Cup Series Playoffs.

Johnson ran second and despite having enough points to lift himself into the all-important top 12 in the standings as they ran at the time, he continued to pressure the race leader.

However, the seven-time champion made a mess of the approach to the frontstretch chicane, at the end of the roval lap, and lost control of the #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

As Johnson pirouetted, he backed into Truex Jnr’s #78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota at the very last corner, clearing the path for Blaney to take a Bradbury-esque win.

To compound Johnson’s error, he had to bring his car to a complete stop due to cutting the chicane and ultimately finished eighth, leaving three points short of 12th in the points.

Truex Jnr had similarly already been taken out at the same chicane when Brad Keselowski spun near the end of Stage 2, when the defending champion was already running wide himself.

Ironically, he inherited the lead when Keselowski locked up the #2 Team Penske Ford at a restart and ran into the wall at Turn 1, the left-hander off the oval.

A pile-up ensued, resulting in a red flag and subsequent three-lap dash to the finish with Truex Jnr alongside Johnson, Chase Elliott and Jamie McMurray on the second row, and Blaney fifth.

Blaney had finished 10th in Stage 1 before winning Stage 2 due to not needing a pit stop in the second 25 laps.

He had arrived at Charlotte four points above the drop zone but the #12 Team Penske Ford was in the right place to book his place in the next phase of the season with a win.

Truex Jnr took the chequered flag in only 14th but sits third in the standings ahead of the Round of 12.

McMurray finished second in the #1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, from Clint Bowyer (#14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford), Alex Bowman (#88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet), pole-sitter Kurt Busch (#41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford), and Chase Elliott (#9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet), the latter four all staying alive for the Round of 12.

AJ Allmendinger (#47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet) was seventh at the end.

Ninth and 10th went to two Playoff contenders in Kevin Harvick (#4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford) and Joey Logano (#22 Team Penske Ford), who are now second and sixth respectively in the Playoff standings.

Along with Johnson, the others to drop out of series contention were Denny Hamlin (#11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) in 12th, team-mate Erik Jones (#20 Toyota) in 30th, and Austin Dillon (#3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet) in 39th after hitting the wall.

Kyle Busch (#18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) and Stage 1 winner Kyle Larson (#42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet) both understeered into the wall as Keselowski’s restart calamity occurred.

Larson finished 25th, Keselowski 31st, and Kyle Busch 32nd, but the latter two had already won during the Round of 16 and the former also lives to fight another day in the Playoffs.

Aric Almirola sits 11th in the standings, one position ahead of Bowman, after finished 19th in the #10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford.

The Round of 12 starts at Dover International Speedway on October 5-7 (local time).

Replay: Restart chaos

Replay: Final lap

Results: Bank of America Roval 400, Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course

Pos Num Driver Make Laps Led Status
1 12 Ryan Blaney Ford 109 16 Running
2 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 109 1 Running
3 14 Clint Bowyer Ford 109 0 Running
4 88 Alex Bowman Chevrolet 109 0 Running
5 41 Kurt Busch Ford 109 7 Running
6 9 Chase Elliott Chevrolet 109 0 Running
7 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 109 0 Running
8 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 109 0 Running
9 4 Kevin Harvick Ford 109 0 Running
10 22 Joey Logano Ford 109 0 Running
11 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 109 0 Running
12 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 109 0 Running
13 32 Matt DiBenedetto Ford 109 0 Running
14 78 Martin Truex Jnr Toyota 109 5 Running
15 95 Regan Smith Chevrolet 109 0 Running
16 38 David Ragan Ford 109 0 Running
17 37 Chris Buescher Chevrolet 109 0 Running
18 34 Michael McDowell Ford 109 0 Running
19 10 Aric Almirola Ford 109 0 Running
20 72 Cole Whitt Chevrolet 109 0 Running
21 19 Daniel Suarez Toyota 109 0 Running
22 13 Ty Dillon Chevrolet 109 0 Running
23 8 Daniel Hemric Chevrolet 109 0 Running
24 7 Ross Chastain Chevrolet 109 0 Running
25 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 109 47 Running
26 96 Jeffrey Earnhardt Toyota 109 0 Running
27 15 Justin Marks Chevrolet 108 0 Running
28 23 JJ Yeley Toyota 108 0 Running
29 00 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 108 0 Running
30 20 Erik Jones Toyota 108 0 Running
31 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 103 29 Crash
32 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 103 0 Crash
33 21 Paul Menard Ford 103 2 Crash
34 24 William Byron Chevrolet 103 0 Crash
35 6 Trevor Bayne Ford 103 0 Crash
36 43 Bubba Wallace Chevrolet 103 0 Crash
37 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jnr Ford 100 2 Crash
38 66 Timmy Hill Toyota 70 0 Axle
39 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 64 0 Crash
40 51 Stanton Barrett Ford 11 0 Crash

Playoff standings

Pos Driver Pts Cutoff (+/-) Playoff race wins Playoff stage wins
1 Kyle Busch 3055 +47 1 0
2 Kevin Harvick 3050 +42 0 0
3 Martin Truex Jnr 3038 +30 0 3
4 Brad Keselowski 3025 +17 1 1
5 Clint Bowyer 3015 +7 0 0
6 Joey Logano 3014 +6 0 0
7 Kurt Busch 3014 +6 0 0
8 Ryan Blaney 3013 +5 1 1
9 Chase Elliott 3008 -5 0 0
10 Kyle Larson 3006 -7 0 1
11 Aric Almirola 3001 -12 0 0
12 Alex Bowman 3000 -13 0 0
13 Jimmie Johnson 2097 Out 0 0
14 Austin Dillon 2071 Out 0 0
15 Denny Hamlin 2056 Out 0 0
16 Erik Jones 2046 Out 0 0

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