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NASCAR Richmond: Larson takes dramatic overtime victory

Kyle LarsonKyle Larson took a dramatic overtime win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond for Chip Ganassi Racing, after a late caution denied longtime leader Martin Truex Jr.

Team Penske's Joey Logano finished second while Ryan Newman got third for Richard Childress Racing.

Dale Earnhardt Jr missed out on a place in the playoffs in his final NASCAR season, as he came home 13th.

In what was the last race before the playoffs gets underway, regular season champion and points leader Truex of Furniture Row Racing had dominated much of the night event and looked on course for an easy victory.

But the late caution, brought about when Derrike Cope hit the wall and which added four overtime laps, brought the pack together.

Larson got ahead of Truex on pitroad during the yellow flag period and retained his lead at the restart.

Then on the final lap Truex was nudged into the wall by Denny Hamlin as they fought over second, which allowed Larson to move clear to take his fourth victory of the season.

Martin Truex Jr

Larson's win ensured that Chase Elliott, Matt Kenseth and Jamie McMurray maintained their places as the final three drivers to enter the playoffs, with the top 16 now going on to fight for the 2017 title at the remaining rounds.

That trio could only have been vaulted by someone who had not yet won in 2017 - such as Logano - taking victory at Richmond. Stewart-Haas Racing's Kurt Busch finished fourth, while Hamlin eventually finished fifth for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Polesitter Kenseth lost his chance of victory in a strange incident with an ambulance that caused him to hit the back of Clint Bowyer's Stewart-Haas-run car, which caused damage to his radiator and put him out.

The incident happed when the ambulance parked at the entry to the pitlane, causing a concertina as the field came in during a caution period with around one third of the race remaining.

Logano's car also was damaged in the incident but he was able to continue.

Hamlin had a frustrating hometown race as he raced with Joe Gibbs Racing team-mate Kenseth at the front early on but then lost 11 places under a subsequent caution period, first on pitroad, then at the restart when caught behind other cars.

Earnhardt Jr had a strong run, though fell down the order late on after staying out on old tyres longer than most of his rivals as he had been gambling on a yellow.

Kyle Busch took stage one after vaulting to the lead at a restart eight laps before the stage's conclusion.

The caution was caused by Kenseth locking a tyre - hard enough to cause race officials to bring out the yellow flags - after he had led the entire stage up to that point.

Kyle Busch eventually finished ninth, one spot behind reigning champion Jimmie Johnson, as Chase Elliot rounded out the top 10 ahead of Brad Keselowski.

1Kyle LarsonChip Ganassi RacingChevrolet3h02m52.s
2Joey LoganoTeam PenskeFord21h57m08.s
3Ryan NewmanRichard Childress RacingChevrolet21h57m08.s
4Kurt BuschStewart-Haas RacingFord21h57m08.s
5Denny HamlinJoe Gibbs RacingToyota21h57m08.s
6Erik JonesFurniture Row RacingToyota21h57m08.s
7Daniel SuarezJoe Gibbs RacingToyota21h57m08.s
8Jimmie JohnsonHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet21h57m08.s
9Kyle BuschJoe Gibbs RacingToyota21h57m08.s
10Chase ElliottHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet21h57m08.s
11Brad KeselowskiTeam PenskeFord21h57m08.s
12Kasey KahneHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet21h57m08.s
13Dale Earnhardt Jr.Hendrick MotorsportsChevrolet21h57m08.s
14Jamie McMurrayChip Ganassi RacingChevrolet21h57m08.s
15Kevin HarvickStewart-Haas RacingFord21h57m08.s
16Michael McDowellLeavine Family RacingChevrolet21h57m08.s
17Aric AlmirolaRichard Petty MotorsportsFord21h57m08.s
18Ryan BlaneyWood Brothers RacingFord21h57m08.s
19Ricky Stenhouse Jr.Roush Fenway RacingFord21h57m08.s
20Martin Truex Jr.Furniture Row RacingToyotaAccident
21Austin DillonRichard Childress RacingChevrolet1 Lap
22Ty DillonGermain RacingChevrolet1 Lap
23Danica PatrickStewart-Haas RacingFord1 Lap
24Clint BowyerStewart-Haas RacingFord1 Lap
25Trevor BayneRoush Fenway RacingFord2 Laps
26A.J. AllmendingerJTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet2 Laps
27David RaganFront Row MotorsportsFord2 Laps
28Paul MenardRichard Childress RacingChevrolet2 Laps
29Corey LaJoieBK RacingToyota4 Laps
30Reed SorensonPremium MotorsportsChevrolet4 Laps
31Matt DiBenedettoGo FAS RacingFord4 Laps
32Chris BuescherJTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet4 Laps
33Cole WhittTriStar MotorsportsChevrolet8 Laps
34Jeffrey EarnhardtCircle Sport / TMGChevrolet9 Laps
35Gray GauldingBK RacingToyota11 Laps
36Derrike CopePremium MotorsportsChevrolet16 Laps
37B.J. McLeodRick Ware RacingChevroletTransmission
38Matt KensethJoe Gibbs RacingToyotaAccident
39Landon CassillFront Row MotorsportsFordAccident

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