I’m having a hard time coming up with the words to describe the conclusion of Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. The finish, which included two overtime restarts was chaotic, intense, amazing and heartbreaking all in one.
For Denny Hamlin, he was able to hold off a hard-charging Chase Elliott for his fifth victory of the 2019 season. Hamlin, who led a race-high 153 laps on the day, also won Stage 2 earlier in the day.
Elliott was fighting tooth and nail for the race win as he was very close to not advancing to the Playoffs Round of 8. However, as Elliott knifed to second on the final lap of the race, Brad Keselowski — who was battling Elliott all day for the final advance spot — found trouble.
After bouncing off the wall and other cars, Keselowski would limp across the line in 19th. Which eliminates the driver of the No. 2 car from the 2019 Playoffs.
Jubilation for Elliott, as he continues to battle for his first championship. Heartbreak for Keselowski as his quest for a second title is over.
Kyle Busch finished third, Kurt Busch followed in fourth and William Byron took a top-five, yet Byron was also eliminated from championship contention.
Martin Truex Jr. ended up sixth and Erik Jones was seventh.
Clint Bowyer wound up eighth, but just didn’t have enough points to advance to the next round of the Playoffs.
Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top-10 on the day.
The drivers who will move on to the next round of the Playoffs (pending post-race inspection) are: Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and Chase Elliott.
The drivers who have been eliminated are: Brad Keselowski, William Byron, Clint Bowyer and Alex Bowman.
Post-race stat pack
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.