Chase Elliott was in position for a shocking first win to advance to the NASCAR championship race, but Matt Kenseth had other plans as he reigned supreme on Sunday.
Kenseth, who is without a seat next season, passed Elliott with 10 laps remaining and held on for the win, dashing the latter's only hope to triumph and advance to next week's championship battle at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19.
Elliott led until Kenseth earned the lead on Lap 303. The former finished second, followed by Martin Truex Jr., Erik Jones and Kevin Harvick.
Thanks to Kenseth's late pass, Brad Keselowski advanced to the title race along with Kyle Busch, Harvick, and Truex.
Elliott took the lead away from Kenseth after wrecking Denny Hamlin out of the race with just under 50 laps to go.
Seeking payback from Martinsville, Elliott battered Hamlin's bumper with 43 laps remaining.
Hamlin slammed into the wall on Lap 274, causing considerable damage to the number 11, ending his day.
Jimmie Johnson's quest for record eighth championship ended with just one lap remaining in stage two.
Johnson cut a tire and crashed in turn four on lap 149, bringing out the first caution flag of the day.
He entered the race in last position in the playoff standings and needed a win to advance to the championship showdown at Homestead.
Johnson will have to wait until next season to surpass NASCAR Hall of Famers Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty on the all-time championships list with eight titles.
Fan favourite Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 10th in his second-to-last Cup Series race of his career. Earnhardt, winless since taking the chequered flag at Phoenix in 2015, will have an emotional week ahead of him as NASCAR says goodbye to another icon.
19. Januar 2018
|Root guides England home as Finch century proves in vain again|
|Walcott left Arsenal with his things in bin bags|
|Nadal breezes past Dzumhur in Melbourne|
|Schalke confirm Goretzka will join Bayern|
|Sergi Roberto renews Barca deal until 2022|
|Fernandinho seals extended Manchester City contract|
|Ceballos knee knock to be assessed after Real Madrid Copa win|
|O´Sullivan says snooker is ´weighted towards numpties´ as he repeats World Championship threat|
|Hamsik has no doubts over Napoli future|
|Corchia determined to repay Montella´s faith at Sevilla|
|Arsenal or Manchester United – who wins from the Sanchez-Mkhitaryan deal?|
|Black Caps survive Pakistan comeback to claim series sweep|
|Celtics lose without Irving as Cavaliers end skid|
|I can play against anyone, says 15-year-old Kostyuk|
|I would love to coach PSG – Mancini|
|Now an All-Star, Joel Embiid ´might have to pass´ on Rihanna|
|Merson: Mkhitaryan will be a sensation at Arsenal|
|Aussie debutant Carey replaces Paine for second ODI|
|Wins over substance for Varane and Real Madrid|
|Arsenal´s Giroud the answer for Chelsea, says Parlour|
|Rahm shoots 62 to lead CareerBuilder Challenge|
|Wenger: Sanchez exit won´t hurt like Van Persie|
|LeBron, Curry named captains for NBA All-Star game|
|Zidane hopes late Leganes win is turning point for Real Madrid|
|Magic´s Afflalo handed two-game ban for fighting|
|De Gea happy to delay Man Utd contract talks|
|Celtics guard Irving misses 76ers game with shoulder injury|
18. Januar 2018
|LeBron James determined to work through ´very challenging´ Cavaliers season|
|Leganes 0 Real Madrid 1: Asensio´s late goal lifts pressure on Zidane in Copa quarter-final|
|Toulalan follows Gourvennec out of Bordeaux|
|Texans DE J.J. Watt showing positive signs with rehab|
|CC Sabathia likes the Yankees being a ´hated team´ again|
|UCI president wants Team Sky to suspend Froome|
|Dortmund´s Durm suffers torn ankle ligaments|
|Chelsea send Nathan to Belenenses on loan|
|Chelsea in talks over deal for Roma full-back Emerson|
|Gravel for breakfast but no worms on Dyche´s menu|
|Harden to return for the Rockets against the Timberwolves|
|Dybala is no Messi - Laudrup thinks comparisons are unfair|
|Jones insists weakened England can challenge for Six Nations hat-trick|
|McIlroy feeling ´a little different´ but happy with injury return|
|Dortmund leave Aubameyang out amid Arsenal links|
|Federer requested night match to avoid Melbourne scorcher|
|Koulibaly would stay at Napoli ´forever´|
|Mentor De Villiers hopes Proteas proteges ´remember that old guy´|
|Shenzhen to host WTA Finals|
|Neymar´s PSG contract has no release clause, lawyer claims|
|Robben relaxed over Bayern contract talks as other clubs circle|
|Henderson returns to Liverpool training|
|Football´s biggest release clauses - Pique joins Messi, Ronaldo and LaLiga´s big boys|
|Australia call for Carey, Hazlewood out of Gabba ODI|
|Defending champion Fleetwood upstages McIlroy, Johnson|
|No offers for Evans yet, says West Brom boss Pardew|
|Halep not feeling the pressure|
|Stafylidis seals Stoke switch|
|I was dying on court - Monfils questions decision to play in Melbourne heat|
|Birthday girl Kerber sets up Sharapova clash, misery for Muguruza|
|Federer marches on, Djokovic beats the heat but Wawrinka bows out|
|Worry about your own team - Dortmund slam Wenger´s Aubameyang pursuit|
|Fabulous Federer eases past Struff|
|Praet denies agreeing deal to join Juventus|
|No BBC for Real Madrid´s Leganes clash|
|Wawrinka discovers Tennys has game to go with the name|
|Heat hit historic low in defeat to Sixers|
|Stoke close to Stafylidis signing|
|Brisbane Roar 3 Perth Glory 2: Holman settles five-goal thriller|
|Gourvennec leaves Bordeaux after seventh defeat in eight games|
|Eight uncapped players make squad for England´s Six Nations opener|
|Stokes court date on same day as supposed England comeback|
|Pique agrees new long-term Barcelona contract|