ThatsRacin

NASCAR: Results and 3 takeaways from the Cup Series Roval race at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Ryan Blaney celebrates after winning the NASCAR Cup series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord on Sunday
Ryan Blaney celebrates after winning the NASCAR Cup series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord on Sunday AP

Results and takeaways from Sunday’s NASCAR Bank of America Roval 400 Cup series auto race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

1. The Roval is a rousing success

Talk about a gamble paying off. NASCAR’s inaugural race on the Roval was expected to be chaotic, messy, and to be blunt, a wreck-fest. And while it took nearly the entire face for that reputation to validate itself, ultimately there was no escaping the inevitable. The two incidents in the last 10 laps not only drastically changed the outcome of the race and the playoffs, but every second of it was must-see TV (or for the surprisingly full stands at CMS, exactly what fans had hoped for). The Roval is about the furthest thing from conventional, traditional NASCAR that you could come up with, but it was also incredibly exciting, something that should always win out given the competitive sports landscape in modern America.

2. Johnson’s playoff elimination is his own doing

What a ... weird decision by Jimmie Johnson, to try and go for the race win in the last lap instead of just settling for second and moving on in the playoffs. Instead, Johnson cost both himself and Martin Truex Jr. a chance to win, and knocked himself out of the playoffs in the process. If he had simply accepted second place and let Truex have the win, he’d be through to the next round and able to continue competing for an eighth championship. Instead, his worst season maybe ever comes to an inglorious thud of an ending. Johnson said in the moment he decided to go for the win instead of accepting his place in the next round, but hey, hindsight is always 20/20.

3. What do we make of the remaining playoff drivers?

Other than Johnson, Austin Dillon, Erik Jones, and Denny Hamlin were the other three playoff drivers eliminated Sunday at Charlotte. That is about as expected as could be with the way this season has gone. With two race wins between the four drivers, none of them were ever realistically going to mount a playoff run. But on the flip side, consider all the drivers we have left. All of the Big 4 of Truex, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Brad Keselowski are through, as are several other race-winners this year. There wasn’t anyone outside of the projected top four who really mounted much of a championship this round, but merely surviving is an accomplishment when you’re talking about the Roval as a cutdown site. The Big 4 are still on the fast track (no pun intended) for Homestead-Miami Speedway in November, but there’s at least the most qualified outside contenders nipping at their heels.

Race name

The full race results, from the Associated Press:

Bank of America Roval 400

Cup Series Bank of America Roval 400

At Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course

Concord

Lap length: 2.28 miles



St

Driver

Car

Laps

*



1

9

Ryan Blaney

Ford

109





2

8

Jamie McMurray

Chevy

109





3

7

Clint Bowyer

Ford

109





4

3

Alex Bowman

Chevy

109





5

1

Kurt Busch

Ford

109





6

4

Chase Elliott

Chevy

109





7

2

AJ Allmendinger

Chevy

109





8

6

Jimmie Johnson

Chevy

109





9

19

Kevin Harvick

Ford

109





10

15

Joey Logano

Ford

109





11

29

Ryan Newman

Chevy

109





12

27

Denny Hamlin

Toyota

109





13

28

Matt DiBenedetto

Ford

109





14

13

Martin Truex Jr.

Toyota

109





15

32

Regan Smith

Chevy

109





16

30

David Ragan

Ford

109





17

10

Chris Buescher

Chevy

109





18

18

Michael McDowell

Ford

109





19

20

Aric Almirola

Ford

109





20

33

Cole Whitt

Chevy

109





21

17

Daniel Suarez

Toyota

109





22

26

Ty Dillon

Chevy

109





23

11

Daniel Hemric

Chevy

109





24

35

Ross Chastain

Chevy

109





25

5

Kyle Larson

Chevy

109





26

37

Jeffrey Earnhardt

Toyota

109





27

31

Justin Marks

Chevy

108





28

36

JJ Yeley

Toyota

108





29

38

Landon Cassill

Chevy

108





30

12

Erik Jones

Toyota

108





31

25

Brad Keselowski

Ford

103

1



32

14

Kyle Busch

Toyota

103

1



33

22

Paul Menard

Ford

103

1



34

21

William Byron

Chevy

103

1



35

16

Trevor Bayne

Ford

103

1



36

34

Bubba Wallace

Chevy

103

1



37

23

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Ford

100

1



38

40

Timmy Hill

Toyota

70

2



39

24

Austin Dillon

Chevy

64

1



40

39

Stanton Barrett

Ford

11

1



Race Statistics

*–Reason out: 1–accident; 2–axel

Average Speed of Race Winner: 82.125 mph.

Time of Race: 3 Hours, 1 Minute, 34 Seconds. Margin of Victory: 0.792 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 8 for 16 laps.

Lead Changes: 10 among 8 drivers.

Lap Leaders: Kurt Busch 1-6; K. Larson 7-36; R. Blaney 37-51; Kurt Busch 52; K. Larson 53-69; J. McMurray 70; R. Stenhouse Jr. 71-72; P. Menard 73-74; B. Keselowski 75-103; M. Truex Jr. 104-108; R. Blaney 109.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): K. Larson 2 times for 47 laps; B. Keselowski 1 time for 29 laps; R. Blaney 2 times for 16 laps; Kurt Busch 2 times for 7 laps; M. Truex Jr. 1 time for 5 laps; R. Stenhouse Jr. 1 time for 2 laps; P. Menard 1 time for 2 laps; J. McMurray 1 time for 1 lap.

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