WILD!! Absolutely Wild Race At Charlotte Motor Speedway's "Roval"

NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series At The Roval Was Insane

October 1, 2018
Jimmie Johnson,  Martin Truex Jr.

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

NASCAR was looking to spice things up when it came to the playoffs this year so they decided to do something wild and let me tell you, it was a great success.

Charlotte Motor Speedway decided to switch it up and instead of running the mile and a half oval, they built a 2.28 mile road course! Now what made this interesting was that this race was the cut off race for the first round of playoffs. NASCAR started with 16 drivers in the playoffs and the first round consisted of 3 races at Las Vegas, Richmond and Charlotte. Drivers coming into the roval below the cut line were Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones and Denny Hamlin. 

After Sunday's race, the 4 drivers eliminated are Johnson, Austin Dillon, Denny Hamlin and Erik Jones. Johnson was fast, like really fast. He was running in the top 6 the whole race and after a late race caution and restart, he was starting on the outside pole with Martin Truex Jr. with two laps left.

What's incredible was that Larson was on the front row and led the most laps of the whole race but on the restart, he got caught up in a wreck caused by Keselowski leaving him now on the bubble! So he had to fight for every point he could get with a wrecked car that could barely drive.

Kyle Larson
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

So the restart comes with Johnson and Truex Jr. on the front row, green flag drops and they take off like a rocket into turn 1. Truex has the lead with Johnson on his bumper and they stay that way through the course until they enter turn 13 or the oval's turn 3. Johnson has momentum going into the front stretch chicane. Johnson wheel hops, locks the brakes and spins in the grass and during the spin, takes out Truex Jr.! They both come to a stop and get the car back in gear but it was to late and Ryan Blaney comes through and crosses the finish line first!

Jimmie Johnson, Martin Truex Jr.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

So the race is over and there are wrecked race cars on the front stretch including Jeffery Earnhardt, Dale Jr.'s newphew and he has yet to cross the finish line to claim his spot, so the wheel man of Larson drove his wrecked car through the front stretch chicane to pass Earnhardt and take one more point! That left Larson, Aric Almirola and Johnson tied for the final transfer spot, so according to NASCAR Rules, the tie would go to the driver with the best finish of the round, which went to Larson for his 2nd place finish at Las Vegas.

Now the question is, why didn't Johnson just stay right where he was at!? He was in 2nd and with that finish, he was going to be locked into the next round for the playoffs! I'll tell you why, because Johnson is a competitior. He is on a 51 race win-less streak and he so badly wants to get a win!

You don't get to be a 7-time champion by just sitting back, you get out there and race hard! As sad as I am that Johnson can't go for his 8th championship for 2018, I feel really confident for the rest of the year and the year after because him and the entire Hendrick Motorsports teams have finally figured out the new ZL1 Camaro and are showing speed! 

NASCAR is heading the Dover for the first race in the Round of 12. My drivers to watch: Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott.

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