Chase Elliott earned the checkered flag in the Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday.
Elliott led the most laps (35) of any driver en route to his third victory of the season. Although he was already safely through to the next round of the 2019 NASCAR playoffs, Elliott added five playoff points to his overall total with the win.
Alex Bowman, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top five, with the full leaderboard available on NASCAR.com.
Bank of America Roval 400 Leaderboard
1. Chase Elliott
2. Alex Bowman
3. Kevin Harvick
4. Clint Bowyer
5. Brad Keselowski
6. William Byron
7. Martin Truex Jr.
8. Ryan Blaney
9. Jimmie Johnson
10. Joey Logano
As expected, the Roval design made it hard for any one driver to build a massive head of steam and coast out in front of the pack. There were also 11 cautions over the 109 laps.
Elliott was responsible for one of those cautions as his hopes of winning appeared to be gone. Sitting in first place ahead of a restart with 45 laps to go, he missed Turn 1 and drove directly into the barrier.
The same thing happened to Keselowski during last year's inaugural Roval. On that occasion, Keselowski took multiple cars with him. The rest of the field lapped Elliott, who fell to 37th.
At that point, the 23-year-old could've packed it in. Aside from the playoff points, the Hendrick Motorsports driver had little else to gain, already having enough points to advance in the playoffs. Instead, the Georgia native slowly worked his way back up into first place, aided by a few cautions, including a red flag with seven laps to go.
Elliott rammed into the barrier at Turn 1 again, only this time he was celebrating his imminent trip to Victory Lane.
Ryan Newman represented the opposite end of the spectrum.
Newman entered Sunday with a 14-point gap on Bowman in 13th place as the playoff field would be trimmed from 16 to 12 drivers. By the end of the day, he slipped out of the postseason picture altogether.
The No. 6 car encountered a pair of massive setbacks down the final stretch that resulted in a 32nd-place finish.
First, Newman stalled on pit road with 19 laps to go.
Then he incurred a pass-through penalty with two laps remaining for missing the chicane in the Roval.
Newman reflected on his frustrating day:
That opened the door for Bowman to slide into the last playoff after his runner-up finish.
Newman joined Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch and Erik Jones as the four drivers eliminated from championship contention. Almirola didn't encounter too much trouble en route to winding up in 14th, yet his exit from the postseason races shows how slim the margins become at this point in the year.
The Monster Energy Cup series shifts to Dover International Speedway for the Drydene 400 on Oct. 6. Martin Truex Jr. was the victor during the spring race at Dover.