NASCAR at Charlotte ROVAL: Results, highlights from Ryan Blaney's stunning victory

Ryan-Blaney-093018-Getty-FTR
Ryan Blaney (Getty Images)

Late chaos on Sunday at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL propelled Ryan Blaney to a win as the 16 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff drivers were cut down to 12.

Brad Keselowski and Kyle Larson were part of a major crash on Lap 103 that took them out of contention for the checkered flag. It seemed like points leader Martin Truex Jr.’s race to win from that point on, but he wrecked with Jimmie Johnson near the finish line on the final lap, allowing Ryan Blaney to surge ahead for the stunning victory.

The victory clinched Blaney’s spot in the field of 12, and Larson and Aric Almirola narrowly edged out Johnson for the final spot with a tiebreaker.

Johnson, Erik Jones, Denny Hamlin and Austin Dillon were the four drivers who were eliminated from playoff contention. Clint Bowyer, who was in an elimination spot at the start of the race, finished fifth.

SN provided live updates and highlights during Sunday’s race. Here’s how it went down. 

NASCAR at Charlotte ROVAL: Results, highlights

(All times ET)

5:35 p.m.: Johnson’s late crash turns out to cost him. He has been eliminated from the playoffs. Hamlin, Jones and Dillon are also out.

5:34 p.m.: Chaos towards the bottom of the top 12.

5:31 p.m.: Not official yet, but here is the top 10. 

5:26 p.m.: Wow! The leaders crash on the final lap and Blaney has won. Blaney has clinched his spot in the final 12. 

5:26 p.m.: Last lap, and it’s coming down to Treux and Johnson for the win. 

5:20 p.m.: Update on those that are on the precipice of getting cut.

5:17 p.m.: The top five after the dust has settled: Treux, Johnson, Elliott, McMurray, Blaney.

5:15 p.m.: After about a nine minute delay, the red flag has been lifted.

5:06 p.m.: When the red flag is lifted, Truex is expected to be in the lead. Major shift towards the end of this race.

5:03 p.m.: The red flag is out in Charlotte. Keselowski and Kyle Busch are also in trouble due to a crash. 

4:57 p.m.: Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick are among the drivers that are pitting with seven laps to go.

4:52 p.m.: Under ten laps remaining and the same two leaders maintain their place. Truex, currently in third place, is about 14 seconds behind.

4:47 p.m.: In the case of a tie in the standings between Blaney, Bowyer, and Bowman, here is how it would shake out.

4:41 p.m.: It’s a two-man race right now, as Keselowski and Larson are over ten seconds ahead of the rest of the field.

4:35 p.m.: The current forecast of who is in danger of being cut after this race.

4:29 p.m.: 25 laps remaining and Keselowski and Larson are neck-and-neck.

4:25 p.m.: Some big names are making their way towards the top during leg 81. Keselowski still leads by nearly three seconds.

The pass for second by @KyleLarsonRacin . #TeamLarson | #NASCARPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/aLBwALmgwK

4:20 p.m.: Keselowski, one of the three drivers who already has his spot locked up in the next round, has led for the last three laps.

4:16 p.m.: Stenhouse goes off course and Paul Menard becomes the third leader in as many laps. 

4:12 p.m.: One lap later, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. takes the lead for the first time in the race.

4:11 p.m.: On lap 70, Jamie McMurray is the new leader.

4:06 p.m.: Some action during lap 69, as the caution flag is out and Johnson has made his way into the top five. 

4:02 p.m.: Caution flag is out on lap 66.

3:49 p.m.: Austin Dillon crashes into the wall and is currently on the wrong side of the cutline. Video: 

3:46 p.m.: Lap 58: Larson is back in the lead, with Busch and Jamie McMurray right on his tail.

3:44 p.m.: A pair of drivers fighting for their playoff lives are inching closer to the top five. 

3:29 p.m.: Ryan Blaney wins the second stage and earns a playoff point. Johnson, Busch, Joey Logano, and Bowyer round out the top five. Stage three will consist of the final 59 laps. 

3:22 p.m.: Aric Almirola, who is sixth in the playoff standings, has suffered a setback. 

3:20 p.m.: Daniel Suarez suffers a speeding penalty on pit road. 

3:18 p.m.: Lap 43: Blaney has extended his lead to nearly four seconds over Kevin Harvick.

3:11 p.m.: Larson gives up the lead on lap 37and goes to pit road. Ryan Blaney, who is currently 12th in the playoff standings, has taken over the lead. Keselowski is right behind him for second place.

3:06 p.m.:  Some of the playoff drivers who recently pitted. 

2:57 p.m.: After hitting pit road, Busch had dropped to 23rd place. 

2:55 p.m.: Busch re-takes the slight lead on Larson during lap 27. 

2:48 p.m.: At the end of stage one, Kyle Larson has the lead, with Busch, Clint Bowyer, Truex, and Elliott behind him in the top five. Stage two will also consist of 25 laps. Nine of the top 10 consists of playoff drivers. Larson will earn a playoff point. 

2:44 p.m.: Bowyer and Johnson are doing their best to stay in the playoffs in the early stages of this race.

2:38 p.m.: Erik Jones, who started the race in an elimination spot, reports that he may have some damage from the restart. 

2:35 p.m.: Through 15 laps, Larson, Elliott and Busch make up the top three drivers. 

2:30 p.m.: Caution flag is out to start lap 14 after Stanton Barrett slams into the wall. 

2:27 p.m.: Points leader Truex is one of the biggest movers since the start of the race.

2:20 p.m.: Kyle Larson has passed Busch for first place on lap 7, the first lead change of the race. Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman, and Jimmie Johnson round out the top five. 

2:17 p.m.: Denny Hamlin makes an early stop on pit road with a tire issue.

2:16 p.m.: Kurt Busch has led all four laps so far, but Kyle Larson is right on his tail, just .297 seconds behind. 

2:12 p.m.: Sunday’s race will be 109 laps total, including 25 for the first stage. 

2:10 p.m.: And we’re off!

1:58 p.m.: Panthers coach Ron Rivera making an appearance at the track. 

1:35 p.m.: About 25 minutes from the start of the race and people are filling into Charlotte Motor Speedway.