Incredible Surprise Finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Martin Truex, Jr. and Jimmie Johnson battled for the win at the first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series road course race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. With the finish line in sight and Truex in the lead with Johnson right behind him, Johnson slid in one of the final turns, spinning Truex in the process. That allowed an opening for Ryan Blaney to pass both of them and win his first race of the year and second of his career.
Jamie McMurray finished second. Clint Bowyer, Alex Bowman and pole winner Kurt Busch completed the Top 5. Truex ended 14th in a race he should have won, but the wreck was even costlier for Johnson. He finished eighth, but in the playoff standings he ended up tied for 11th with Aric Almirola and Kyle Larson, but lost out on the last playoff spot on a tiebreaker.
So Johnson, along with Austin Dillon, Denny Hamlin and Erik Jones were eliminated from the playoffs. Meanwhile, Blaney, Brad Keselowski; the winner at Las Vegas and Kyle Busch; the winner at Richmond advanced to the Round of 12. The others also advancing are:
- Aric Almirola
- Alex Bowman
- Clint Bowyer
- Kurt Busch
- Chase Elliott
- Kevin Harvick
- Kyle Larson
- Joey Logano
- Martin Truex, Jr.
Dover Speedway is up next on the schedule.