Kurt Busch used an unexpected stroke of luck Sunday at Las Vegas to claim the first race of NASCAR's playoff Round of 12.
Late in the final stage, the front of the pack was burned by a caution amid green-flag pit stops, with only Kurt Busch still out on the track among playoff contenders. He took advantage of being placed up a lap to win in his hometown for the first time in his career.
The victory gives Kurt Busch automatic advancement to the next round.
Emotions ran high during the South Point 400, as Joey Logano's role in preventing a Kyle Busch win last weekend caused controversy that leaked into Sunday's contest. Logano blocked Chase Elliott in Stage 1 and again butted cars with Kyle Busch.
Kyle Busch finished sixth, while Logano and Elliott failed to crack the top 10.
Sporting News tracked live updates and lap-by-lap highlights from Sunday's NASCAR race at Las Vegas. Follow below for complete results from the South Point 400.
South Point 400 finishing order among playoff drivers
|4||Martin Truex Jr.|
Playoff picture after NASCAR at Las Vegas
|Pos.||Driver||Distance from cut line|
|5||Martin Truex Jr.||+15|
NASCAR at Las Vegas results, highlights from South Point 400
10:23 p.m.: KURT BUSCH WINS AT VEGAS.
Now that we've caught our breath...how the playoff drivers finished:— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) September 28, 2020
Playoff picture after Las Vegas— Davey Segal (@DaveyCenter) September 28, 2020
4. Brad Keselowski: +16
5. Martin Truex Jr.: +15
6. Joey Logano: +11
7. Chase Elliott: +10
8. Alex Bowman: +9
9. Kyle Busch: -9
10. Clint Bowyer: -20
11. Aric Almirola: -27
12. Austin Dillon: -32
KURT BUSCH wins at his hometown track of Las Vegas for the first time and advances to Round 3 of the playoffs!— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) September 28, 2020
10:18 p.m.: There's going to be overtime.
10:12 p.m.: Caution for Byron.
10:11 p.m.: Hamlin moves up to fifth place.
10:10 p.m.: Kurt Busch is worried one of his tires is giving out but wants to go for it with 10 laps left.
10:09 p.m.: Green flag with 12 laps remaining.
10:01 p.m.: Caution for a crash. Stenhouse involved. Logano will get the free pass on the restart.
9:57 p.m.: Back to green with 25 laps left.
9:49 p.m.: Caution during green-flag stops has flipped this race.
On Truex's radio: "It's a f***ing clown show." https://t.co/1EYBziZXgm— Alex Andrejev (@AndrejevAlex) September 28, 2020
The running order just got turned upside down. Top 10 had yet to pit.— Dustin Albino (el-bee-no) (@DustinAlbino) September 28, 2020
Bowman on back were at least one lap down.
Big break for @KurtBusch, who has spent the majority of the night outside the top 15.
Debris caution with 32 to go— Matt Weaver (@MattWeaverAW) September 28, 2020
Jimmie Johnson has right rear damage as his tire came apart.
9:41 p.m.: With 40 laps to go, Hamlin is in first place with Bowman behind him by less than a second. Martin Truex Jr. is in third place.
9:37 p.m.: Things aren't looking great for Austin Dillon, the surprise performer of the prior playoff round.
9:32 p.m.: How about this for a dicey restart?
9:22 p.m.: Austin Dillon is dinged with an untimely penalty.
Huge implications.— Cameron Richardson (@therichreport) September 28, 2020
Dillon will be all the way back in 27th on the restart. https://t.co/la1HnTtLm1
9:16 p.m.: Caution for debris.
9:10 p.m.: Bowman's lead was brief. Hamlin passes him.
9:06 p.m.: Alex Bowman is in the lead.
8:54 p.m.: Chase Elliott wins Stage 2.
Chase Elliott wins Stage 2, his eighth stage win of the season (second-most in the series). He'll have 22 playoff points to carry into Round 3 if he makes it.— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) September 28, 2020
Rest of top 10:
8:50 p.m.: 10 more laps in Stage 2.
8:31 p.m.: Green-flag pit stops are starting.
8:27 p.m.: Elliott is back in first place.
8:25 p.m.: The unplanned pit stop really hurts Logano's position. He falls a lap behind.
8:19 p.m.: Logano is the biggest pest in the sport. This contact messes up Kyle Busch's crush panel and saps Busch's speed. Logano has to pit for a minor tire problem.
8:05 p.m.: Hamlin wins Stage 1.
Hamlin wins opening stage ... Hamlin Logano KyBusch Elliott Harvick ADillon Blaney Bowman Truex Bowyer, then DiBenedetto Johnson Almirola Jones Custer KuBusch ... 21st-Keselowski #nascar— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) September 28, 2020
8:00 p.m.: Hamlin still leads with 10 laps remaining in Stage 1.
7:45 p.m.: We told you there would be drama.
“Make sure the nose is OK from that dipshit up there,” says Chase Elliott, referring to Joey Logano’s block. The 9 team responds, “He needs to get sent sooner or later.” | #NASCAR— Kelly Crandall (@KellyCrandall) September 27, 2020
7:42 p.m.: At that restart, Elliott appears to have been obstructed by Logano.
Joey Logano has been making massive blocks early in this race, and so far getting away with it. We’ll see how long that lasts, though | #NASCAR— Kelly Crandall (@KellyCrandall) September 27, 2020
7:39 p.m.: Denny Hamlin now takes over first place.
7:37 p.m.: Kyle Busch moves in front after a competition caution.
7:21 p.m. Chase Elliott, who started third, has grabbed an early lead.
7:18 p.m.: Green flag!
7:08 p.m.: Engines are fired.
7:04 p.m.: Anthem is complete at Las Vegas.
NASCAR race start time today
- Date: Sunday, Sept. 27
- Start time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV channel: NBCSN
- Live stream: NBC Sports Go | fuboTV (7-day free trial)
The green flag for Sunday night's NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas is scheduled to wave at 7:17 p.m. ET. For drivers, the later the start time the better considering the high in Las Vegas on Sunday will flirt with 100 degrees.
The 7 p.m. ET start time will make mid-race adjustments key for race teams, especially at a mile-and-a-half oval like Vegas. The track will be hot and slick at the beginning of the race and get cooler and faster as the night progresses.
NASCAR starting lineup at Las Vegas
Here is the complete starting lineup for Sunday night's NASCAR race at Las Vegas:
|1||Kevin Harvick (P)||4||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|2||Kyle Busch (P)||18||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|3||Chase Elliott (P)||9||Hendrick Motorsports|
|4||Aric Almirola (P)||10||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|5||Joey Logano (P)||22||Team Penske|
|6||Clint Bowyer (P)||14||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|7||Austin Dillon (P)||3||Richard Childress Racing|
|8||Alex Bowman (P)||88||Hendrick Motorsports|
|9||Kurt Busch (P)||1||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|10||Denny Hamlin (P)||11||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|11||Martin Truex Jr. (P)||19||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|12||Brad Keselowski (P)||2||Team Penske|
|13||Erik Jones||20||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|14||Tyler Reddick||8||Richard Childress Racing|
|15||Ryan Blaney||12||Team Penske|
|16||Chris Buescher||17||Roush Fenway Racing|
|17||Michael McDowell||34||Front Row Motorsports|
|18||Jimmie Johnson||48||Hendrick Motorsports|
|19||Matt DiBenedetto||21||Wood Brothers Racing|
|20||Matt Kenseth||42||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|21||Ryan Preece||37||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|22||Cole Custer||41||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|23||Bubba Wallace||43||Richard Petty Motorsports|
|24||Ty Dillon||13||Germain Racing|
|25||John Hunter Nemechek||38||Front Row Motorsports|
|26||Christopher Bell||95||Leavine Family Racing|
|27||Ryan Newman||6||Roush Fenway Racing|
|28||William Byron||24||Hendrick Motorsports|
|29||Daniel Suarez||96||Gaunt Brothers Racing|
|30||Gray Gaulding||27||Rick Ware Racing|
|31||Corey LaJoie||32||Go Fas Racing|
|32||Quin Houff||00||StarCom Racing|
|33||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||47||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|34||Joey Gase||51||Petty Ware Racing|
|35||Brennan Poole||15||Premium Motorsports|
|36||Timmy Hill||66||Motorsports Business Management|
|37||JJ Yeley||77||Spire Motorsports|
|38||Josh Bilicki||7||Tommy Baldwin Racing|
|39||Chad Finchum||49||Motorsports Business Management|