A wild incident during a restart with three laps left in Stage 1 of Sunday’s Bank of America 400 at the Roval secured the Stage 1 Win for Kyle Larson. Larson took the lead for the very first time in the Stage in the moments leading up to the incident on the final restart of the Stage.
The chain of events that led to the end of the Stage were heartbreaking for William Byron as he had led every single lap of the opening Stage from the pole, and it looked like he was well on his way to a Playoff Point.
However, while Byron had a nearly eight-second lead with six laps left in the Stage, a questionable caution was called for a simple spin by Ryan Preece. On the ensuing restart, Jimmie Johnson, Alex Bowman, Erik Jones and others spun around to end the Stage under yellow.
For Jones, this is the end of his Playoff hopes as the crash has put him out of the race.
Byron would end the Stage in second.
Clint Bowyer, who is looking to work his way into Playoff contention got a much-needed third in the Stage.
Team Penske teammates Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski finished fourth through sixth in the opening Stage.
Aric Almirola, Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott and Daniel Suarez rounded out the top-10.
It was a tough opening Stage for Alex Bowman. The driver of the No. 88, who entered the day two points outside of the Playoff Cutoff, spun on lap one and incurred a penalty for cutting the chicane.
However, Bowman had worked cautions and pit strategy to be in a decent position heading to the close of the Stage when he was caught up in drama again. Bowman sits 30th after Stage 1.
Martin Truex Jr., who is searching for his third-straight win, started the day from the rear of the field but has already moved to 16th.
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