Ryan Blaney gets shock win at Charlotte Roval after Jimmie Johnson takes out Martin Truex Jr.

Ryan Blaney ended up as the winner of Sunday’s race at the Charlotte Roval after Jimmie Johnson and Martin Truex Jr. crashed in the final two corners.

Johnson and Truex were racing for the lead as Johnson trailed Truex. Johnson got into turn 16 too hot and spun through the corner, taking out Truex in turn 17. That allowed Blaney to drive through for the win.

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The wreck eliminated Johnson’s chances at making the playoffs. Had he stayed in second behind Truex and let Truex win the race, he would have advanced to the second round. But the spin cost him so many positions that he ended up falling into a tie with Aric Almirola and Kyle Larson for 11th in the standings. Almirola and Larson both have the tiebreaker over Johnson, meaning he’s currently 13th in the playoffs and out of the playoffs.

“I was more worried about the win than anything else,” Johnson said. “I hate that I started wheel-hopping and took Martin and I out. That’s the last thing that I wanted to do. And I put pressure onto him in [oval turn 3] and he washed up and I thought I was going to be in the prime braking zone going into that final turn and have a shot at it. And onto the brakes it started locking the rears and wheel-hopping and I didn’t think I’d hit him at first, I knew I was spinning obviously, but I guess I collected him in my spin and certainly regret doing that.”

” … Wins are so important. The veteran could have taken the safe route and didn’t and unfortunately took us out of the playoffs and took out the 78.”

Why Johnson is out

Johnson stopped after his spin because of a NASCAR rule that mandates drivers stop if they miss either corner in the final chicane. NASCAR penalizes drivers 30 seconds if they miss a chicane in the final laps of a road course race so Johnson didn’t necessarily have to stop. He would have been assessed a 30-second penalty and ended up missing the playoffs regardless. By stopping, he missed the playoffs via tiebreaker because of his eighth-place finish.

“He wasn’t ever going to make it through that corner whether I was there or not. Just desperation on his part and pretty stupid really if you think about it because he was locked into the next round and now he’s out,” Truex said. “I guess if there’s a silver lining, that’s it.”

Joining Johnson among the four drivers eliminated from the playoffs after the first round are Austin Dillon, Denny Hamlin and Erik Jones. Almirola drove through the field to gain multiple positions on the final laps of the race and Larson smashed the wall twice on the final lap. Once exiting turn 4 of the oval section of the track and once while passing Jeffrey Earnhardt’s wrecked car for the the final and tiebreaking position.

Earlier wreck took out top contenders

A crash with just fewer than six laps to go immediately after a restart took out drivers at the front of the field. Brad Keselowski was the race leader and locked his brakes up entering turn 1. He wasn’t the only one who had problems, however, as a bunch of drivers appeared to struggle for grip on the track and go way wide in the corner. As Keselowski slammed into the wall other drivers like Larson, Kyle Busch and Paul Menard piled in while a wreck happened a few dozen feet away on the inside of the corner exit.

Drivers advancing to 2nd round

Martin Truex Jr.
Kevin Harvick
Kyle Busch
Kurt Busch
Brad Keselowski
Joey Logano
Ryan Blaney
Chase Elliott
Clint Bowyer
Alex Bowman
Kyle Larson
Aric Almirola

Roval results

1. Ryan Blaney
2. Jamie McMurray
3. Clint Bowyer
4. Alex Bowman
5. Kurt Busch
6. Chase Elliott
7. AJ Allmendinger
8. Jimmie Johnson
9. Kevin Harvick
10. Joey Logano
11. Ryan Newman
12. Denny Hamlin
13. Matt DiBenedetto
14. Martin Truex Jr.
15. Regan Smith
16. David Ragan
17. Chris Buescher
18. Michael McDowell
19. Aric Almirola
20. Cole Whitt
21. Daniel Suarez
22. Ty Dillon
23. Daniel Hemric
24. Ross Chastain
25. Kyle Larson
26. Jeffrey Earnhardt
27. Justin Marks
28. JJ Yeley
29. Landon Cassill
30. Erik Jones
31. Brad Keselowski
32. Kyle Busch
33. Paul Menard
34. William Byron
35. Trevor Bayne
36. Bubba Wallace
37. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
38. Timmy Hill
39. Austin Dillon
40. Stanton Barrett

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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