RELATED: Race results | Stage recaps | At-track photos | Detailed breakdownSHOP: Truex Jr. gearKANSAS CITY, Kan. – Martin Truex Jr. survived a restart penalty and an unscheduled pit stop to return to what has become a thoroughly familiar locale — Victory Lane — in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.In a dramatic race that brought Truex his seventh Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win of the season, calamity eliminated four drivers from the series Playoffs. Jamie McMurray, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Matt Kenseth and Kyle Larson all saw their postseason hopes end with the final event in the Round of 12.The shocker was Larson, who fell out of the race on Lap 77 when his engine exploded on the frontstretch after dropping a cylinder a few laps earlier. The driver of the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet finished 39th in a 40-car field and dropped to ninth in the standings, nine points behind Jimmie Johnson.The seven-time champion moved into the Round of 8 despite spinning twice in the space of five laps late in the race. But Johnson was the prime beneficiary when NASCAR parked Kenseth, after a massive wreck on Lap 198, for a violation of the damaged vehicle policy — specifically having too many crewmen over the wall to work on the car on pit road.MORE: Multi-car stack-up sidelines severalRacing just hours after Furniture Row Racing road-crew fabricator Jim Watson succumbed to a heart attack, Truex finished 2.284 seconds ahead of runner-up Kurt Busch to become the first driver to sweep both Kansas races in the same year. The victory was Truex’s second at the track and the 14th of his career.“Just can’t say enough about all these guys on this Furniture Row/Bass Pro Toyota,” Truex said. “Just really proud of them. Definitely racing with heavy hearts today with losing Jim (Watson) last night. Want to send our condolences to his family and all of his friends. He was a heck of a guy and a great worker and put a lot of speed in these Furniture Row Toyotas, so glad we could get him one here.“Excited to get another one here at Kansas. This feels really awesome. It’s really Furniture Row’s home track (closest to the team’s Denver, Colorado, headquarters). It just feels really good to finally get – to finally get another one here. We got that one in the spring after so many heartbreaks, and then today it looked like it was going to happen and we just persevered.”Ryan Blaney charged from a 40th-place starting spot — the result of an inspection failure after qualifying — to finish third and cruise into the Round of 8.“We started off in the back, and I was able to make some good ground early,” said Blaney, who starts the Round of 8 as the seventh seed, 60 points behind Truex, who increased his series-leading playoff point total to 69.“We were able to run up through there and made good adjustments throughout the day, which got us in a spot to be up toward the front towards the end and advance. It was a solid day for our team. We overcame a lot coming from the back, and they should be proud of that.”Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin ran fourth and fifth, respectively, to advance to the Round of 8. Kevin Harvick also stayed alive in the postseason with an eighth-place result, as did Kyle Busch with a 10th-place finish.Johnson came home 11th after avoiding serious damage during his two spins, the first of which sent his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet sliding across the frontstretch grass.WATCH: See Johnson’s spinsIt wasn’t a problem-free race for Truex either. On a Lap 36 restart after a competition caution, Truex dipped below the white line on the apron before reaching the start/finish line—a point of admonition in the drivers’ meeting earlier in the day.RELATED: Truex commits restart violationAfter serving a pass-through penalty, Truex remained on the lead lap and began to work his way forward, but an unscheduled pit stop on Lap 91 because of a loose wheel put the No. 78 Toyota a lap down. Brett Moffitt’s crash into the Turn 2 wall with four laps left in Stage 2 kept him on the lead circuit after the other contending cars had come to pit road for green-flag stops.“Just couldn’t believe some of the things that were happening and thought there was no way that we were going to win that race at some point,” Truex said. “That first restart violation really caught me by surprise and that hurt, but that wasn’t the last blow we had to take. There was the loose wheel we had to pit for under green and getting a lap down and being able to stay out through that last stage and get that lap back was crucial.“Without that, we didn’t have a shot. Then we got back mid-pack and had a couple really good restarts to get some track position and then really fought the car through that part of the race and had to make some big adjustments. I felt like at the end we got dialed in pretty good. I’m pretty happy with that.”
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. – I-CAR, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, has awarded Chris Knepler of the I-CAR Springfield Committee the President’s Volunteer Service Award. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement According to I-CAR, Knepler has demonstrated a sustained commitment to volunteer service and has met the requirements needed to receive national accreditation, measured by the number of service hours performed over 12 months or cumulative hours over the course of a lifetime. John Edelen, I-CAR president and CEO said, “The time and commitment put forth by Chris and the Springfield Committee are invaluable. As a not-for-profit organization, I-CAR depends on the support and dedication of its volunteers to strengthen the I-CAR vision – that every person in the collision industry, current and future, has the necessary knowledge and skills relevant to their position to achieve a complete and safe repair. We are honored to grant Chris Knepler the President’s Volunteer Service Award.” I-CAR has recognized Knepler for setting the highest standards for service, encouraging commitment to civic contributions and inspiring others to make service an integral part of their lives. Jeff Peevy, I-CAR director of field operations, added, “We are extremely proud to recognize Chris Knepler with the President’s Volunteer Service Award. I-CAR Volunteers are role models in our community, donating their time, energy and talent. The award is our way of thanking Chris and other volunteers for inspiring everyone in the inter-industry to make volunteering a central part of their lives.”
Turkey-based striker Dominic Adiyiah has been dropped from Ghana’s final 23-man squad for the Africa Cup of Nations, MTNFootball.com has exclusively.The Karsiyaka player has been placed on a three-man stand-by list to be unveiled by the Serbian coach when the squad is released on Thursday.Experienced goalkeeper Richard Kingson was also dropped from the final squad to be officially unveiled during Thursday’s press conference.South Korea-based striker Derek Asamoah was a surprise inclusion in the Black Stars final 23-man for next month’s tournament.Just two home-based players made the final squad list. Goalkeepers Daniel Agyei and Ernest Sowah will make the trip to the tournament.Stromgodset duo of Mohammed Abu and goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey will make their maiden appearance in Africa’s flagship tournament. All the key players in the Black Stars will make the trip to the Nations Cup apart from Kingson who has fallen out of favour with coach Goran Stevanovic.According to MTNFootball.com’s insiders, John Mensah, Jonathan Mensah, Lee Addy, Isaac Vorsah, Daniel Opare and Samuel Inkoom made the cut.Other key players are Derek Boateng, Agyemang Badu, Andre Ayew, Sulley Muntari, Kwadwo Asmaoah, Asamoah Gyan and Prince Tagoe.Ghana will be seeking to win their fifth continental title and Serbian coach Goran Stevanovic presented his final squad to the Ghana FA over the weekend.