Elliott wins Round of 12 finale after Harvick penalty

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Monday 22nd October, 2018 - 1:33pm

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Chase Elliott

Chase Elliott taken victory in Kansas after Kevin Harvick was penalised for pit lane speeding in the final race of the NASCAR Playoff Round of 12.

Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, and Alex Bowman were all eliminated from series contention despite the former finishing third, behind new Playoff Standings leader Kyle Busch.

Elliott took the restart for the final stage officially in second position but didn’t get away well and dropped in behind leader Harvick and Blaney.

He re-passed the latter a little over 20 laps later before the pivotal moment came on Lap 214 when Harvick pitted midway through a stage which remained green in its entirety.

The #4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford was adjudged to have exceeded the pit lane speed limit and Harvick was called back in, putting him down in 16th.

Elliott assumed the effective race lead in the #9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet and that became the official lead when Keselowski (#2 Team Penske Ford) pitted with a little over 40 laps remaining.

While Kyle Busch, in the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, crept closer to Car #9 in the closing stages, Elliott still greeted the chequered flag a relatively comfortable 0.9s to the good.

The 22-year-old, who also won the first race of the Round of 12 a fortnight earlier, is now fourth in the Playoff Standings.

Blaney (#12 Team Penske Ford) was somewhat lucky to get away with a brush with the wall at Lap 203 before soon giving up position to Kyle Busch and Larson.

He continued to drift down the order as the race wore on and eventually finished seventh, missing the cut by six points.

Larson, too, is out of the title race given that he virtually faced a must-win situation after copping a 10-point penalty for a technical infringement following the preceding race in Talladega.

Erik Jones (#20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) was the best of the non-Playoff contenders in fourth, one position ahead of 2017 champion Martin Truex Jnr (#78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota).

Keselowski made for two Team Penske drivers eliminated from the series reckoning in sixth position but team-mate Joey Logano, who qualified on pole and won Stage 1 in the #22 Ford, survives having finished eighth.

Alex Bowman came into the race 68 points below the drop and therefore needed win but finished ninth in the #88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

All four Stewart-Haas Racing drivers remain in the hunt despite two dropping off the lead lap due to uncontrolled tyre penalties during Stage 2.

Aric Almirola (#10 Ford), who had already booked his place in the Round of 8 by winning a week earlier, got his lap back during the same pit stop cycle and finished 10th.

Kurt Busch (#41 Ford) only got one of his two laps back but scraped into the top eight in the standings by finishing 18th and is now seventh in the Playoff race with the reset.

Harvick is second in the Playoff Standings after making his way back to 12th, having already secured passage with a second placing in Stage 1 before winning Stage 2.

Bowyer, in SHR’s #14 Ford, was last on the lead lap in 13th with a bruised nose due to contact with Jimmie Johnson (#48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet) at the start of the final stage.

The Round of 8 starts with the First Data 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 27-28 (local time).

Race highlights

Results: Hollywood Casino 400, Kansas Speedway

Pos Num Driver Make Laps Led Status
1 9 Chase Elliott Chevrolet 267 44 Running
2 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 267 0 Running
3 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 267 0 Running
4 20 Erik Jones Toyota 267 0 Running
5 78 Martin Truex Jnr Toyota 267 0 Running
6 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 267 26 Running
7 12 Ryan Blaney Ford 267 9 Running
8 22 Joey Logano Ford 267 100 Running
9 88 Alex Bowman Chevrolet 267 0 Running
10 10 Aric Almirola Ford 267 0 Running
11 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 267 0 Running
12 4 Kevin Harvick Ford 267 76 Running
13 14 Clint Bowyer Ford 267 0 Running
14 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 266 0 Running
15 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 266 0 Running
16 37 Chris Buescher Chevrolet 266 0 Running
17 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 266 0 Running
18 41 Kurt Busch Ford 266 0 Running
19 38 David Ragan Ford 265 0 Running
20 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jnr Ford 265 1 Running
21 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 265 9 Running
22 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 264 0 Running
23 32 Matt DiBenedetto Ford 264 0 Running
24 19 Daniel Suarez Toyota 263 0 Running
25 13 Ty Dillon Chevrolet 263 0 Running
26 43 Bubba Wallace Chevrolet 263 2 Running
27 34 Michael McDowell Ford 262 0 Running
28 95 Regan Smith Chevrolet 259 0 Running
29 00 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 258 0 Running
30 6 Trevor Bayne Ford 258 0 Running
31 23 JJ Yeley Toyota 256 0 Running
32 21 Paul Menard Ford 256 0 Running
33 51 BJ McLeod Chevrolet 250 0 Running
34 72 Corey LaJoie Chevrolet 219 0 Running
35 99 Kyle Weatherman Chevrolet 216 0 Transmission
36 7 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet 157 0 Vibration
37 96 Jeffrey Earnhardt Toyota 151 0 Transmission
38 24 William Byron Chevrolet 55 0 Engine
39 15 Ross Chastain Chevrolet 37 0 Crash
40 66 Timmy Hill Toyota 3 0 Engine

Playoff standings

Pos Driver Pts Cutoff (+/-) Playoff race wins Playoff stage wins
1 Kyle Busch 4055 +40 1 0
2 Kevin Harvick 4054 +39 0 4
3 Martin Truex Jnr 4038 +23 0 3
4 Chase Elliott 4018 +3 2 0
5 Clint Bowyer 4015 -3 0 0
6 Joey Logano 4015 -3 0 1
7 Kurt Busch 4015 -3 0 1
8 Aric Almirola 4006 -12 1 0
9 Ryan Blaney 2212 Out 1 1
10 Brad Keselowski 2194 Out 1 1
11 Kyle Larson 2178 Out 0 1
12 Denny Hamlin 2159 Out 0 0
13 Austin Dillon 2150 Out 0 0
14 Erik Jones 2148 Out 0 0
15 Jimmie Johnson 2148 Out 0 0
16 Alex Bowman 2144 Out 0 0

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