Hamlin wins chaotic NASCAR cut-off race at Kansas Speedway

Hamlin wins chaotic NASCAR cut-off race at Kansas Speedway

Hamlin wins chaotic NASCAR cut-off race at Kansas Speedway

Restarting 17th with nine laps to go, the picture was clear that Keselowski needed every point he could get to advance as Chase Elliott started his charge toward the leading group.

Elliott, who began the day 22 points behind the cut line, advanced to the round of 8 with his second-place finish and eliminated Keselowski. He won three races during the regular season. "Just excited we get to fight another race".

Denny Hamlin was less than a auto length away from taking the white flag and locking in his victory in regulation when the caution lights came on for a wreck behind him on the frontstretch.

If Hamlin had crossed a split-second quicker, the race would have been over and Keselowski safe. "I talked to Brad after we got done with the first round and said we were going to need to be better and we just haven't been able to do that to advance". "In the end it didn't work out".

Kyle Busch ultimately finished third, followed by Kurt Busch and William Byron.

The positions didn't come on the restart, then another caution set up a second overtime.

He ended up three points - equal to three positions on the track - below the cutoff line. Alex Bowman and home-state hero Clint Bowyer also were eliminated.

"I did think we were OK", Keselowski said, "but obviously we weren't".

Hamlin, 38, advanced to the Round of 8 along with the previous two weeks' winners, Kyle Larson and Ryan Blaney, as well with five others who qualified by points: Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch; Kevin Harvick, reigning Cup champion Joey Logano and Elliott, the defending Hollywood Casino victor. He had finished in the top five at Kansas twice in the past couple years, but the trip to victory lane was the first for his Joe Gibbs Racing team since 2012. "We got a few key adjustments that turned us into a dominant auto".

The restart created a two-lap race between Elliott and Keselowski for the final playoff spot and Elliott and Hamlin for the win.

Hamlin got a good jump on the restarted, getting pushed by teammate Kyle Busch, and Elliott sucked down low and got in line.

Elliott was still in good shape until another caution flew, jumbling the front of the pack and giving Keselowski a chance.

The entire field got through the restart cleanly, but Keselowski ran out of room deep in the pack and nudged Suarez, sending him into the wall. Penske Racing teammate Joey Logano also picked up heavy damage in the wreck, throwing his playoff hopes into question as another OT approached.

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