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.
22. April 2018
|´Hurtful´ fans damaged Arsenal´s image, Wenger claims|
|Chelsea 2 Southampton 0: Giroud and Morata book FA Cup final spot|
|Super Kings survive late onslaught to overshadow Sunrisers|
|Struggling Stoke have to win at Liverpool, concedes Butland|
|Did Wenger jump or was he pushed? – Arsenal boss proves evasive|
|Ramsey: Arsenal owe Wenger the perfect finale|
|Nadal sees off Nishikori to reign in Monte Carlo once again|
|Fit-again Mendy on the bench for Manchester City|
|Chievo 1 Inter 2: Icardi grateful to VAR as Nerazzurri remain in top-four hunt|
|Knights playmaker Pearce set for long absence|
|Arsenal 4 West Ham 1: Wenger´s long farewell begins in style|
|Stoke City 1 Burnley 1: Potters pegged back again as relegation nears|
|N´Zonzi apologises for partying after Sevilla´s Copa humiliation|
|Khan chasing Brook, not world titles, after spectacular comeback|
|Kaizer Chiefs ´worried about safety of players´ as coach quits after rioting|
|Elneny injury sparks World Cup fear|
|Arsenal aiming to give Wenger the perfect send off - Mertesacker|
|Chelsea v Southampton: Giroud wins Wembley nod over Morata|
|Don´t go to China, come to Betis! - Setien lauds Barcelona legend Iniesta|
|Argentina midfielder Biglia suffers ´severe´ back injury in Milan defeat|
|Departing Wenger hints at end-of-season reveal amid reports of sacking|
|Farah sets new British record as Kipchoge wins London Marathon|
|Neymar walking without crutches|
|Ozil ill, Aubameyang benched as Arsenal target momentum ahead of Atletico|
|I make the decisions - Sweden coach wants Ibrahimovic talks on World Cup|
|Investment not necessary for United to challenge City – Lukaku|
|So close, but so far away – Vorm laments another Spurs failure|
|Melbourne Victory 2 Adelaide United 1: Berisha stunner seals last-four spot|
|Sharks upset Panthers as Eels finally get off the mark|
|Lopes: A return to Man City? My present is Monaco but the future belongs to God|
|Jaguares catch out Brumbies in Canberra|
|Montella urges Sevilla to use Copa setback as motivation|
|Zheng topples Wang in Zhengzhou final|
|Rakitic desperate for Iniesta stay|
|Jardim one of the best in the world – Lopes praises Monaco boss amid interest|
|Napoli refusing to give up on Scudetto dream|
|It´s a good time for Iniesta to leave Barca, says father|
|Athletics´ Manaea no-hits Red Sox, Darvish struggles once again|
|Pelicans reach second round, 76ers take 3-1 lead and T-Wolves down Rockets|
|MLS Review: Five-star LAFC, Dynamo headline goal frenzy as Atlanta silence Ibra´s Galaxy|
|Busch pulls away to claim third successive NASCAR win|
|Sanchez hails legendary Wenger ahead of Arsenal exit|
|Valverde: Nothing behind Iniesta substitution amid growing CSL links|
|White Sox´s Farquhar in critical condition after brain haemorrhage|
|Cubs place Ben Zobrist on 10-day DL|
|Hoffenheim boss Nagelsmann dismisses Arsenal and Chelsea links|
|Johnson, Landry tied for Texas lead as Mullinax sets course record|
|Gattuso, Mirabelli apologise to Milan fans after ´embarrassing´ Benevento loss|
|Marquez to start fourth after being stripped of Austin pole|
|Iniesta to make decision on his future public ´this week´|
|United want to win everything next year, says Wembley hero Sanchez|
|Cardiff edge Forest to boost promotion push|
|Bartomeu confirms Iniesta has an ´offer´ amid Chinese Super League reports|
|Messi second player to score in five Copa finals|
21. April 2018
|Khan makes up for lost time with 40-second Lo Greco knockout|
|Mourinho challenges Alexis after Wembley star turn|
|Vieira ready for Arsenal job, says Guardiola|
|FA Cup win would represent successful season - Conte|
|Guardiola: I want Manchester City to be a Premier League machine|
|Marquez crashes before taking controversial pole in Austin|
|Sevilla 0 Barcelona 5: Suarez and Messi lead crushing Copa final win|
|Defending champion Selby dumped out in first round|
|AC Milan 0 Benevento 1: Rossoneri suffer again as bottom side stave off relegation...for now|
|Ulster stay alive in dramatic fashion as Bellini sparkles for Zebre|
|Semi-final pain for frustrated Kane|
|London stay was crucial to FA Cup Wembley win - Mourinho|
|Pochettino: Spurs need four more years – with me or another|
|Kaepernick honoured with Amnesty International award|
|He has not delivered optimal performances - Stoger explains Schmelzer omission|
|Kvitova and Pliskova put Czechs in control|