Chase Elliott’s dominance continues on the road courses with another victory in the Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
There was one final race remaining in the second round of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. With four more drivers on the verge of elimination, the previous two races at Las Vegas and Talladega were no walk in the park. The Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval played host for the last race of the Round of 12, and this alone has most teams coming to the track with worry on their faces. Throw in some rain showers, and this race was up for grabs to anyone able to keep their car together.
The First Stage
Denny Hamlin was in control of the field for the green flag to kick off the event. However, Chase Elliott made the early pass for the lead on lap eight. Chase Elliott continues to lead through the competition caution and well into the late portion of the first stage. He came down pit road under green with four laps remaining in the segment.
John Hunter Nemechek and Erik Jones get together on lap 23 for the afternoon’s first accidental caution. Ty Dillon cycles into the lead as he stays on the track instead of pitting under the caution. He brings the field to the restart with two laps remaining. Dillon was able to string two solid laps together and win the first stage.
The Second Stage
Christopher Bell paces the field to the green flag, but William Byron quickly passes him for the lead. Byron controls the field for a while, then Ryan Blaney makes a pass for the lead with 12 laps remaining in the second stage.
With five laps to go in the segment, JJ Yeley spins bringing out a late caution. Many of the race leaders stay out under this caution. Ryan Blaney continues to hold his lead heading into the final restart. He quickly moves out to a big lead and does not look back. Ryan Blaney wins the second stage.
The Third Stage
Ryan Blaney stays out once again during the stage break. He continues to hold his lead before disaster strikes.
On the following lap, Blaney spins his car in the third turn. He gives up his lead to Ryan Preece, who is followed closely by Alex Bowman. Preece leads seven laps before Bowman makes the pass.
However, Bowman’s lead is short-lived as Chase Elliott passes him just two laps later. This is Elliott’s last pass he has to make all day. He is able to take over the last 20 laps and bring home the win. Chase Elliott wins the Bank of America ROVAL 400 for the second straight year.
Round of 12 Playoff Eliminations
Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Austin Dillon, and Aric Almirola are all eliminated on Sunday afternoon. Each driver was in a position where they had to win to advance, and despite playing unique strategies, they could not get the job done.
Now, three more races in the Round of 8 to decide who earns the opportunity to race for a championship. Eight drivers remain, and the point standings are close. These drivers are Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Alex Bowman, and Kurt Busch. The next three races for the third round will be held at Kansas Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, and Martinsville Speedway. The two ovals are races for many teams to be aggressive. All remaining teams in the playoffs are showing their speed at all these tracks.