Ryan Blaney wins on Roval after Truex, Johnson wreck in final turn
CONCORD, N.C. -- Ryan Blaney won the inaugural Cup race on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval on Sunday, overtaking Martin Truex Jr. and Jimmie Johnson in the final turn as they wrecked battling for the win.
It is Blaney’s first win of the year.
Truex led on a restart with three laps to go with Johnson second. Johnson took his shot at the win trying to pass Truex on the outside entering the frontstretch chicane. Johnson lost control and went into a spin. He then caught Truex’s right rear, sending him around.
Blaney, who restarted fifth, navigated between their cars and across the line.
“I wasn’t expecting that,” Blaney told NBC. “You hate to see two guys get into it there and take each other out, two of the best cars all day. But that’s racing sometimes.”
It is Blaney’s first win since the June 2017 race at Pocono, snapping a 50 race winless streak.
Truex finished 14th and Johnson placed eighth.
Johnson was eliminated from playoff contention. Erik Jones, Austin Dillon and Denny Hamlin were also eliminated.
The top five was completed by Jamie McMurray, Clint Bowyer, Alex Bowman and Kurt Busch.
The final three laps were set up by a massive wreck in Turn 1 on a restart with six laps to go. The wreck included race leader Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, Paul Menard, William Byron, Trevor Bayne, Daniel Hemric and Aric Almirola.
The wreck began when Keselowski locked up his brakes approaching the turn.
STAGE 1 WINNER: Kyle Larson
STAGE 2 WINNER: Ryan Blaney
WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Alex Bowman earned his third top five this season and secured a spot in the playoffs ... Chase Elliott placed sixth, giving him a top 10 in all three road course races this season ... Matt DiBenedetto placed 13th for his best finish on a non-restrictor plate track this season ... Aric Almirola finished 19th after multiple incidents and advanced to the second round of the playoffs.
WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Kyle Busch placed 32nd for his third finish outside the top 10 since the July Daytona race ... Austin Dillon placed 39th after hitting the wall twice in the second stage ... Daniel Suarez placed 19th after three speeding penalties.
NOTABLE: Justin Marks placed 27th in what is expected to be his final NASCAR start.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We finished 14th and he’s knocked out of the playoffs. I guess that’s what he gets.” - Martin Truex Jr. on Jimmie Johnson.
WHAT’S NEXT: Gander Outdoors 400 at Dover International Speedway at 2 p.m. ET on Oct. 7 on NBCSN
Everyone makes mistakes... apologies to the 78 and all of their fans.— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) September 30, 2018