The end of Sunday’s Cup race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval added to what has become a season of dramatic finishes.
It started in Daytona in February, saw the “Slide Job!” meme created at Chicagoland and continued with Sunday’s finish that saw Ryan Blaney slip past the spinning cars of Jimmie Johnson and Martin Truex Jr. on the final chicane to win a playoff race.
Here’s a look at those thrilling finishes:
THE FINAL CHICANE
Jimmie Johnson was second to Martin Truex Jr. on the final lap at the Roval and in place to advance to the second round of the playoffs before he attempted to pass Truex entering the final chicane.
“It’s just one of those split-second decisions to race for the win instead of for the points and it bit me,” Johnson said.
The Chicagoland race featured a thrilling last-lap duel between Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson that saw Larson use a slide job to try to get in front and then hit Busch’s car.
That forced Busch into the wall and Larson dived to take the lead down the backstretch. Busch responded by hitting the back of Larson’s car entering Turn 3. The contact sent Larson’s car into slide through the corner and down the track in Turn 4 while Busch passed on the outside after hitting the wall.
No. 3 CAR WINS DAYTONA 500
Austin Dillon‘s contact with the rear bumper of Aric Almirola’s car sent Almirola out of the lead and into the Turn 3 wall on the last lap of the race. Dillon went on to win. Almirola was left to say: “He’s not driving too aggressively, he’s trying to win the Daytona 500 just like I was,” Almirola said.
“I saw him come with the momentum, and I pulled up to block and did exactly what I needed to do to try to win the Daytona 500. I wasn’t gonna just let him have it. I wasn’t gonna just stay on the bottom and let him rail the outside, so I blocked and he got to my bumper and pushed, and I thought I was still gonna be OK and somehow I got hooked.”
BUMP & RUN PART 1
Kyle Busch used the bump & run to get by Kyle Larson and lead the final six laps at Bristol in April.
BUMP & RUN PART 2
Kevin Harvick used the bump & run to get by Kyle Busch and lead the final seven laps to win at New Hampshire.
BEATING AND BANGING AT INDY
Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski raced as if they were on a short track instead of the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway as they battled for the lead in the final laps. Keselowski, who had fresher tires, got by for the win.
THE FIRST TIME
Chase Elliott scored his first career Cup win at Watkins Glen but it looked as if it might go away when he got wide in Turn 1 and allowed Martin Truex Jr. to close. Truex pressured Elliott until running out of fuel later on the lap.