Kyle Larson claimed his fourth NASCAR win of the year, taking out the Federated Auto Parts 400 on Saturday.
Some desperate drivers ran up front at Richmond International Raceway, doing anything they could to score the victory they needed to qualify for the NASCAR play-offs starting next weekend.
In the end, they all went home disappointed, as Larson – already safely qualified for the postseason – claimed the chequered flag.
It was Larson's fourth victory of 2017, and his fifth career win.
"I got the greatest team out here and definitely the best pit crew – they were money all night," Larson told NBCSN.
"This is incredible to have four wins with still 10 races left in the season."
The race set the 16-driver field for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup play-offs, which begin next Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway.
Martin Truex Jr., the series leader heading into the play-offs, appeared to be sailing to an easy victory with a handful of laps remaining when a caution came out to set up overtime. In the round of pit stops before the restart, Larson's team got him off pit road first, with Truex just behind him.
Larson bolted out to the lead on the first lap of overtime, and when Denny Hamlin and Truex tangled on the second lap, sending Truex into the wall, Larson won the race.
Five drivers desperately needing a win to qualify for the play-offs, Joey Logano, Erik Jones, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Clint Bowyer and Daniel Suarez, all raced in the top 10 late in the race chasing the chequered flag. Larson's victory ruined their efforts.
The race's third stage featured a bizarre incident. After a caution for Danica Patrick's spin, NASCAR opened pit road. But as cars dove down the track to hit the pits, they found an ambulance blocking the entrance. Several cars were damaged in the incident.
"Well, we're all just kind of coming to pit road and I see an ambulance sitting there," Matt Kenseth told NBCSN. "Not really sure why pit road was open with an ambulance sitting there."
Earlier in the race, Truex won the second segment to pick up yet another stage win, his series-leading 18th of the season. He now enters the postseason with 53 play-off points, 20 ahead of second-place Larson. Kyle Busch won the first stage.
23. November 2017
|Joshua: Awkward Fury a ´nutjob´, but I´d knock Wilder out with one punch|
|Wasteful Arsenal leave Wenger frustrated|
|Goffin: Belgium have nothing to lose in Davis Cup final|
|McInnes to remain at Aberdeen despite links to Rangers, West Brom|
|Robinho given prison sentence in Italy for 2013 sexual assault|
|Cologne 1 Arsenal 0: Gunners secure top spot despite defeat|
|Vikings´ Griffen asks fans to help name his baby during Thanksgiving game|
|The Breakdown: A statistical look at Saturday´s rugby internationals|
|All Blacks skipper Read to miss Wales clash|
|Silva not giving ´one more word´ on Everton speculation|
|North free to choose region, insists Gatland|
|Everton sign Bramley Moore Dock lease|
|UEFA investigating Bayern after fans throw fake money in protest over Champions League prices|
|North´s Northampton spell ´like having a Ferrari in your garage but you can´t find the key´|
|Robben out of Gladbach clash with ´minor´ calf strain|
|Pochettino pleased to see Rose emotion|
|Fury still looks far from fitness with hearing set for December|
|Mourinho factor makes Man Utd a title threat, says Lampard|
|Chase hit with two-year ban for cocaine use|
|Jones returns to lead much-changed Wales against All Blacks|
|Chelsea´s best chance of success is Champions League, claims Lampard|
|F1 Raceweek: Hamilton not relishing imminent Halo, Vettel wants Baku awards|
|Cummins savours taking ´dream´ Root wicket|
|Jones makes nine England changes as Simmonds starts at number eight|
|Robben: It could be over for me after this season|
|Newcastle Jets 4 Melbourne Victory 1: Nabbout at the double|
|Chawrasia leads from Fitzpatrick in Hong Kong|
|Vince revels in silencing the doubters|
|Happy Sanchez could win the Premier League for Arsenal, Lauren claims|
|Davis leads Australian Open as Spieth struggles in the wind|
|Halep tips Dimitrov for grand slam glory|
|The Ashes round-up: England falter after Vince and Stoneman half-centuries|
|Angered Neymar storms away from Real Madrid questions|
|Bayern played their worst ´for a long time´ - Boateng|
|Australia fight back on tight first day in Brisbane|
|Neymar form no surprise for Alves|
|Fiji ready for another mission impossible - Naiqama|
|Vince helps England continue fine start|
|Thunder roll as Westbrook goes off against Warriors, Cavs win|
|Kiwis would consider Bennett as coach|
|Meninga unhappy with Aussie preparations ahead of World Cup semi|
|Federer congratulates Basel after Man Utd scalp|
|Heat snap Celtics´ 16-game winning streak|
|Spurs star Leonard has unique issue, Popovich says|
|England steady after early Cook loss in Brisbane|
|Gremio 1 Lanus 0: Cicero gives Brazilians advantage in Libertadores final|
|Hazard: I admire Madrid, but I´m happy at Chelsea|
|Neuer or De Gea? Digne says Ter Stegen is world´s best keeper|
|Allegri satisfied with draw against ´extraordinary´ Barcelona|
|Nainggolan reaffirms Roma commitment after Simeone praise|
|Chiefs sign veteran CB Revis|
|England choose to bat as Warner, Marsh cleared to play for Australia|
|Beathard, not Garoppolo, named 49ers starter v Seahawks|
|Simeone hails Griezmann´s ´extraordinary´ volley|
|Emery hails Neymar after stunning Celtic win|
|Freeney joins Lions day after being cut by Seahawks|
|Championship Review: Wolves thrash 10-man Leeds, Middlesbrough cruise|
|Goncharenko delighted for clean sheet star Akinfeev|
|I hope Barcelona rest Messi – Jesus|
|Broncos name Lynch starting QB for Raiders game|
22. November 2017
|Thiago suffered a serious injury, says Heynckes|
|Valverde explains decision to bench Messi|
|Coleman the latest to join Rebels revolution|
|LeBron: Defensive consistency key to Cavs winning streak|
|Bills revert to Tyrod Taylor as starting QB after Nathan Peterman disaster|
|Absent Stokes wishes England well|
|Iniesta hails ´splendid´ Ter Stegen as Barcelona seal last-16 spot|
|Griezmann shrugs off goalless streak after wonderstrike keeps Atletico´s hopes alive|
|We should have been 5-0 up – Mourinho unimpressed with wasteful United|
|Toure reveals Guardiola anger with City´s Feyenoord display|