Kyle Larson races to victory at the Charlotte Roval in the NASCAR Cup Series Bank of America Roval 400 on Sunday afternoon.
The elimination race for the Round of 12 took place at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval. This race is known to have dramatic and historic happenings that create unimaginable developments in the playoffs each year. There are always a few drivers that appear ready to advance to the next round. However, by the end of the race, they find themselves looking in from the outside.
Polesitter, Denny Hamlin Leads the Field to the Green Flag
Denny Hamlin brought the field to the green flag, and he looked strong in the first stage. Hamlin led the opening twelve laps bringing up the competition caution. Joey Logano came out of the caution with the lead, but it was Ryan Blaney taking the lead on the restart.
On lap 20, Ryan Newman spins after losing a tire, to bring out the second caution of the day. Ryan Blaney took the green flag on the restart, but AJ Allmendinger took the lead on the first lap.
On the final lap of the first stage, Chase Elliott passes Allmendinger for the lead to win the first segment of the road course race.
Kyle Busch Prevails in the Second Stage
AJ Allmendinger did not pit during the stage break, and he brought the field to the restart. Kyle Busch took the lead on the opening lap and did not look back.
After a wreck on lap 34 involving Chris Buescher, Kyle Busch continued to hold the lead. Kyle Busch led all 21 laps to win the second stage.
Harvick versus Elliott Continues at the Roval
William Byron came out of the stage break with the lead to resume green flag racing. Shortly after the restart, Kevin Harvick made contact with the bumper of Chase Elliott, causing Elliott to spin around into the wall. This brought out another caution with Elliott having major damage to fix.
The field entered a long green-flag run coming out of the caution. William Byron continued to lead, but eyes were still on Chase Elliott. His bumper cover was hanging on by a thread and eventually fell off to bring out a pivotal debris caution. Several drivers did not pit under the green flag giving them great track position. Denny Hamlin was one of these drivers and he assumed the lead on the restart.
Chase Elliott Fights Back, But Harvick Self-Destructs
As the race wound down, Chase Elliott began climbing through the field once again. He was approaching his current rival, Kevin Harvick. As the two approached the first turn, Kevin Harvick locked up his brakes and drove straight into the wall, taking him out of the race, and ending his playoff hopes.
Kyle Larson races to victory at the Charlotte Roval
Denny Hamlin led the field to the restart but had to battle Kyle Larson for the lead. Larson won the battle and held the lead with eight laps remaining. Hamlin tried to keep it close, but Larson was too much. Kyle Larson held Hamlin off to win the Bank of America Roval 400.
The field for the Round of 8 is set, and nobody seems to be safe. Kyle Larson sits atop the leader board by 42 points, but he knows that this is not a big cushion over the next three races. However, the other seven drivers all sit within twenty points of each other.
The following three races will be held at Texas Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway, and Martinsville Speedway. The first two races of this round are crucial for every playoff driver. Everyone knows what can happen at Martinsville. Heading into Martinsville needing a win is not the best position to be in. Playoff drivers know it is important to have solid finishes early to be in the best position possible heading into the cutoff race.