Chase Elliott was in position for a shocking first win to advance to the NASCAR championship race, but Matt Kenseth had other plans as he reigned supreme on Sunday.
Kenseth, who is without a seat next season, passed Elliott with 10 laps remaining and held on for the win, dashing the latter's only hope to triumph and advance to next week's championship battle at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19.
Elliott led until Kenseth earned the lead on Lap 303. The former finished second, followed by Martin Truex Jr., Erik Jones and Kevin Harvick.
Thanks to Kenseth's late pass, Brad Keselowski advanced to the title race along with Kyle Busch, Harvick, and Truex.
Elliott took the lead away from Kenseth after wrecking Denny Hamlin out of the race with just under 50 laps to go.
Seeking payback from Martinsville, Elliott battered Hamlin's bumper with 43 laps remaining.
Hamlin slammed into the wall on Lap 274, causing considerable damage to the number 11, ending his day.
Jimmie Johnson's quest for record eighth championship ended with just one lap remaining in stage two.
Johnson cut a tire and crashed in turn four on lap 149, bringing out the first caution flag of the day.
He entered the race in last position in the playoff standings and needed a win to advance to the championship showdown at Homestead.
Johnson will have to wait until next season to surpass NASCAR Hall of Famers Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty on the all-time championships list with eight titles.
Fan favourite Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 10th in his second-to-last Cup Series race of his career. Earnhardt, winless since taking the chequered flag at Phoenix in 2015, will have an emotional week ahead of him as NASCAR says goodbye to another icon.
|Horsing around: Muller takes tips from equine companion|
|Lynn set for further assessment on dislocated shoulder|
|Ronaldo jets off for a break as Madrid head to Leganes|
|Bastareaud back in one of five France changes|
|Mistake to let Kroos leave Bayern for Madrid - Sammer|
|Short´s fifty and Agar´s spin seal deserved Australian tri-series win|
|Spalletti tips Ancelotti for Italy job|
|I can´t wait for retirement - Federer|
|Mendy on course for World Cup, says Deschamps|
|Man Utd on dismal knockout run, Roma have Shakhtar curse - Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Azpilicueta hoping for greater fortune at Camp Nou|
|Out of nothing he can score goals – Heynckes hails Muller|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Giovinco inspires Toronto, Tigres held|
|Steelers LB Shazier says he´s ´best linebacker ever´|
|Ranieri: I´ll quit Nantes if offered Italy job|
|Thiem keeps title defence on track, Monfils saves match point in Rio|
|Barcelona are great even without Neymar – Willian|
|Del Potro, Raonic progress at Delray Beach|
|Dolphins place franchise tag on Landry|
|Colts QB Luck ´extremely optimistic´ about shoulder rehab|
|Conte wants to see out Chelsea contract but has bags packed|
|A´s respond to Gruden´s belittling of Oakland|
|Yankees acquire Drury in three-team deal with Diamondbacks, Rays|
|Messi goal will give Barcelona more space at Camp Nou – Suarez|
|Serena Williams: I almost died|
|Conte defends ´incredible´ Christensen after Barcelona error|
|Bayern taking nothing for granted after 5-0 demolition – Heynckes|
|Valverde: Barcelona away goal not definitive for progression|
|Muller & Robben bemoan poor first half despite Bayern rout|
|Ivashka sets up Wawrinka Marseille meeting|
|Chelsea close to a perfect game against Barcelona - Conte|
|Defending for 90 minutes at Barcelona a ´suicide mission´ - Fabregas|
|Championship Review: Villa miss chance to move into promotion places|
|Messi ends his Chelsea hoodoo|
|Texans release all-time leading tackler Brian Cushing|
|Chelsea 1 Barcelona 1: Messi breaks Blues hoodoo to leave tie in the balance|
|Bayern Munich 5 Besiktas 0: Two-goal Muller inspires emphatic win after Vida red|
|Woods and Stricker appointed USA Ryder Cup vice-captains|
|Wales must attack Sexton and Murray - Gatland|
|De Vrij confirms intention to leave Lazio on free transfer|
|Sanchez move down to Champions League frustration at Arsenal - Mourinho|
|Mourinho suggests Pogba is fit to face Sevilla|
|Clinical Kerber strolls past Strycova in Dubai|
|AFC Champions League Review: Hulk & Oscar lead Shanghai, Jeonbuk Motors hit six|
|Cech expects Ospina to start for Arsenal in EFL Cup final|
|Gueye signs new Everton deal until 2022|
|FA charges Man City and Wigan for failing to control players|
|Aguero faces no action over Wigan fan incident|
|Martin released by Buccaneers|
|Las Palmas get green light to sign Viera replacement amid Nasri talk|
|De Kock, De Villiers & Du Plessis looking to Australia Tests|
|FA issues West Ham with anti-doping charge|
|Florenzi a doubt to face Shakhtar, confirms Roma´s Di Francesco|
|Maybe we ´lock him up or tie him up´ – Montella ponders how to stop Sanchez|
|French rugby crisis could last a long time - Magne|
|Pogba and Ibrahimovic train with Man Utd ahead of Sevilla tie|
|Zidane hints at resting Ronaldo for Real Madrid´s trip to Leganes|
|Biggar, Halfpenny and Williams return to Wales´ starting XV|
|Modric adds to Real Madrid injury worries|
|Braehmer pulls out of Super Series semi-final|
|Wolfsburg turn to Labbadia in fight for Bundesliga survival|
|Hales follows Rashid in signing white-ball deal|
|Wigan to investigate pitch invasion after win over Manchester City|
|Drogba ´couldn´t be more proud´ as son signs for Guingamp|
|Stones making no excuses for shock Wigan defeat|
|Bellugi scathing of Inter form and transfer policy|
|Ringrose could make Six Nations impact after comeback|
|Rakitic: I´ve not seen Messi in the gym this often|
|Winter Olympics 2018: Slovenian ice hockey star Jeglic sent home after positive doping test|
|Sevilla v Manchester United: Montella and Mourinho unified in pursuit of identity|