Kyle Larson No. 42 Clover/First Data Chevrolet

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Ganassi's Larson Advancing In NASCAR Cup Playoffs After Wild Day on "Roval"

Ryan Blaney Wins After Jimmie Johnson And Martin Truex Jr. Wreck

October 01, 2018 - 1:54 pm

Concord, NC (93.7 The Fan) - Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson is advancing to Round 2 of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs after finishing 25th yesterday at the Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Larson limped home a damaged No. 42 Clover/First Data Chevrolet and secured his spot in the next round by passing Jeffrey Earnhardt, who had wrecked on the frontstretch and couldn’t get his Toyota restarted.  Larson passing Earnhardt earned Larson a valuable championship point, which he needed to advance.

“I could still see (Earnhardt) was stalled,” Larson said.  “It kind of looked like he was starting to get rolling and I hit the wall again because I had blown a right-front and I was just able to get to the (finish) line”.

Larson, Aric Almirola and Jimmie Johnson all finished tied for 11th in the Playoff standings with the tie-breaker, of best Playoff finishing positions, going to Almirola and Larson.

Johnson had a chance to advance but got into an accident with Martin Truex Jr. on the last lap heading into the frontstretch chicane as the pair raced for the win.  Ryan Blaney raced past the wrecked cars of Truex and Johnson to capture the checkered flag.

“You hate to see two guys get into it there and take out two of the best cars all day,” said Blaney, who scored his second career win.  “We were just at the right spot at the right time.  It’s cool to be in Victory Lane and move on to the next round”.

Johnson finished eighth and Truex finished 14th but felt he gave the 7-time Champion enough room to race him to the finish line.

“He (Johnson) just over-drove it and was never going to make it and he used me as brakes and turned us both around,” fumed Truex.  “We could have raced side-by-side off the last corner for the win, and that would have been cool.  The fans would have been digging it, but instead we finished 14th and he’s locked out of the Playoffs.  I guess that’s what he gets”.

The remaining drivers who advance along with Larson, Truex, Blaney and Almirola are Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Clint Bowyer and Alex Bowman.

Round 2 of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs begins next Sunday with the Gander Outdoors 400 at Dover International Speedway.

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