When an engine failure knocked title favorite Martin Truex Jr. from NASCAR's playoffs, the rest of the top contenders got a little bit of breathing room.
Then Brad Keselowski suffered the same cruel elimination when his engine failed Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.
There was suddenly a wide-open competition to earn the final transfer spots into the third round of the Chase, and Denny Hamlin and Austin Dillon raced a tense final two laps in overtime to fill the bracket. With each pushing for every last point, it was Hamlin who advanced into the round of eight on a tiebreaker over Dillon.
Joey Logano won at Talladega Superspeedway, and Hamlin edged Kurt Busch by .006...