Chase Elliott snags Kansas win; four more playoff drivers eliminated

Chase Elliott felt the pressure in the closing laps, but emerged victorious at Kansas as the playoff field was cut from 12 down to eight.

Chase Elliott snags Kansas win; four more playoff drivers eliminated
Race winner Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Mountain Dew
Race winner Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Mountain Dew
Race winner Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Mountain Dew
Race winner Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Mountain Dew
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Busch Light, Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Mountain Dew are leading the field
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry M&M's Halloween
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry M&M's Halloween
Kyle Larson, Chip Ganassi Racing, Chevrolet Camaro McDonald's Trick. Treat. Win!
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Elliott held off Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson in the final laps to score his third career win, collecting them all in the last 11 races. He led 44 of 267 laps and crossed the finish line 0.903 seconds clear of Busch.

Larson finished third and was among those eliminated from the 2018 playoffs. He, along with Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney and Alex Bowman will not advance. 

Erik Jones and Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top five in the finishing order. Keselowski was sixth, Blaney seventh, Stage 1 winner Joey Logano eighth, Bowman ninth and Aric Almirola tenth.

The third stage went green with 100 laps to go and Elliott got a poor restart, backing up the inside lane and allowing both Kevin Harvick and Blaney to get away.

Back in the pack, Clint Bowyer got some minor left front damage after contact with Jimmie Johnson out of Turn 2. He carried on with no tire rub developing.

With 78 laps to go, Elliott got around Blaney for second and set his sights on Harvick, closing in to within a second. Blaney scrubbed the wall, dropping to fifth and into the elimination zone as Kyle Busch and Larson made their way by.

Larson then kicked off the final round of green-flag pit stops with 55 laps to go. During the cycle, race leader Harvick sped entering pit road. The penalty dropped him down to 16th and out of contention.

Keselowski once again pushed the run and pitted with just over 30 laps to go. Elliott then took control of the race, enjoying a three-second advantage over Busch. Larson ran third, facing a must-win situation.

Johnson was forced to return to pit road after contacting the outside wall.

With 20 to go, Busch cut the margin to Elliott down to 1.5 seconds and continued gaining. As the laps clicked away, Elliott, Busch and Larson were all separated by a single second, but they just couldn't reach Elliott in time.

Elliott's win was his third in the last 11 races and his second this round. After a speeding penalty, Stage 2 winner Harvick ended up a disappointing 12th. 

Elliott, KyBusch, KuBusch, Harvick, Truex, Bowyer, Logano, Almirola are the eight drivers remaining with a shot at the 2018 championship.

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Cla # Driver 4506 Laps Time Laps Led
1 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 267   44
2 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 267 0.903  
3 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 267 1.256  
4 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 267 9.227  
5 78 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 267 11.852  
6 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 267 16.114 26
7 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 267 18.641 9
8 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 267 19.312 100
9 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 267 23.024  
10 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 267 24.320  
11 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 267 25.229  
12 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 267 30.552 76
13 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 267 30.822  
14 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 266 1 lap  
15 31 United States Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 266 1 lap  
16 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 266 1 lap  
17 1 United States Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 266 1 lap  
18 41 United States Kurt Busch  Ford 266 1 lap  
19 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 265 2 laps  
20 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 265 2 laps 1
21 47 United States A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 265 2 laps 9
22 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 264 3 laps  
23 32 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 264 2 laps  
24 19 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 263 4 laps  
25 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 263 4 laps  
26 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 263 4 laps 2
27 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 262 5 laps  
28 95 United States Regan Smith  Chevrolet 259 8 laps  
29 00 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 258 9 laps  
30 6 United States Trevor Bayne  Ford 258 9 laps  
31 23 United States J.J. Yeley  Toyota 256 11 laps  
32 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 256 11 laps  
33 51 United States B.J. McLeod  Chevrolet 250 17 laps  
34 72 United States Corey Lajoie  Chevrolet 219 48 laps  
35 99 United States Kyle Weatherman  Chevrolet 216 51 laps  
36 7 United States Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 157 110 laps  
37 96 United States Jeffrey Earnhardt  Toyota 151 116 laps  
38 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 55 212 laps  
39 15 United States Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 37 230 laps  
40 66 United States Timmy Hill  Toyota 3 264 laps  
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Kevin Harvick beats Blaney and Logano for Stage 2 win
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