Denny Hamlin brushed off an attack from Chase Elliott to win in double overtime during the final race of the NASCAR Playoffs Round of 12 at Kansas Speedway.
Hamlin (#11 Joe Gibbs Racing) beat Elliott (#9 Hendrick Motorsports) to the finish line by 0.128s, ahead of Kyle Busch (#18 Joe Gibbs Racing), Kurt Busch (#1 Chip Ganassi Racing), and William Byron (#24 Hendrick Motorsports).
That top three had been the same when the left-rear tyre escaped from Darrell Wallace Jnr’s #43 Richard Petty Motorsports in the middle of Turn 2 with one lap to go of the scheduled 267.
Matt Tifft also lost control of his #36 Front Row Motorsports Ford as a result of the incident, which sent the race into overtime.
Hamlin continued to lead upon restart before Daniel Suarez (#41 Stewart Haas Racing) crashed in the pack on the front stretch, collecting Daniel Hemric (#8 Richard Childress Racing).
With the Caution coming before Hamlin started what would have been the final lap, he was forced into another restart, from which he made a strong getaway.
Elliott and Kyle Busch tussled again for second place before the latter closed the gap to Hamlin on the final lap.
While the win eluded him, Elliott did pip Brad Keselowski (#2 Team Penske) to the final spot in the Round of 8.
Kyle Busch also kept his title hopes alive, as did Martin Truex Jnr (#19 Joe Gibbs Racing) in sixth, Kevin Harvick (#4 Stewart-Haas Racing) in ninth, and Joey Logano (#22 Team Penske) in 17th.
Kyle Larson (#42 Chip Ganassi Racing) and Ryan Blaney (#12 Team Penske) had already secured spots in the Round of 8 with their earlier victories at Dover and Talladega respectively.
The Round of 8 starts at Martinsville Speedway on October 25-27 (local time).
Round of 8 qualifiers
|Kyle Larson||#42 Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet|
|Ryan Blaney||#12 Team Penske||Ford|
|Kyle Busch||#18 Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|Martin Truex Jnr||#19 Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|Denny Hamlin||#11 Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|Kevin Harvick||#4 Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford|
|Joey Logano||#22 Team Penske||Ford|
|Chase Elliott||#9 Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
Replay: Second overtime period