NASCAR at Charlotte ROVAL: Live updates, highlights from Sunday’s race | NASCAR

The first cut race of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs takes place Sunday on the ROVAL at Charlotte Motor Speedway. By the time the Bank of America ROVAL 400 reaches its conclusion, 16 playoff drivers will be cut down to 12.

Entering Sunday’s race, only three drivers had clinched a spot in the next round; Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch, who have each won a playoff race so far, and Martin Truex Jr., the points leader. The four drivers that are most in danger of being cut are Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones, Jimmie Johnson and Clint Bowyer.

Kurt Busch starts on the pole for Sunday’s ROVAL race, the first of its kind in the Cup Series. SN is providing live updates from the race. Follow along below.

NASCAR at Charlotte ROVAL: Live updates, highlights

(All times ET)

3:46 p.m.: Lap 58: Larson is back in the lead, with Busch and Jamie McMurray right on his tail.

3:44 p.m.: A pair of drivers fighting for their playoff lives are inching closer to the top five. 

3:29 p.m.: Ryan Blaney wins the second stage and earns a playoff point. Johnson, Busch, Joey Logano, and Bowyer round out the top five. Stage three will consist of the final 59 laps. 

3:22 p.m.: Aric Almirola, who is sixth in the playoff standings, has suffered a setback. 

3:20 p.m.: Daniel Suarez suffers a speeding penalty on pit road. 

3:18 p.m.: Lap 43: Blaney has extended his lead to nearly four seconds over Kevin Harvick.

3:11 p.m.: Larson gives up the lead on lap 37and goes to pit road. Ryan Blaney, who is currently 12th in the playoff standings, has taken over the lead. Keselowski is right behind him for second place.

3:06 p.m.: Some of the playoff drivers who recently pitted. 

2:57 p.m.: After hitting pit road, Busch had dropped to 23rd place. 

2:55 p.m.: Busch re-takes the slight lead on Larson during lap 27. 

2:48 p.m.: At the end of stage one, Kyle Larson has the lead, with Busch, Clint Bowyer, Truex, and Elliott behind him in the top five. Stage two will also consist of 25 laps. Nine of the top 10 consists of playoff drivers. Larson will earn a playoff point. 

2:44 p.m.: Bowyer and Johnson are doing their best to stay in the playoffs in the early stages of this race.

2:38 p.m.: Erik Jones, who started the race in an elimination spot, reports that he may have some damage from the restart. 

2:35 p.m.: Through 15 laps, Larson, Elliott and Busch make up the top three drivers. 

2:30 p.m.: Caution flag is out to start lap 14 after Stanton Barrett slams into the wall. 

2:27 p.m.: Points leader Truex is one of the biggest movers since the start of the race.

2:20 p.m.: Kyle Larson has passed Busch for first place on lap 7, the first lead change of the race. Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman, and Jimmie Johnson round out the top five. 

2:17 p.m.: Denny Hamlin makes an early stop on pit road with a tire issue.

2:16 p.m.: Kurt Busch has led all four laps so far, but Kyle Larson is right on his tail, just .297 seconds behind. 

2:12 p.m.: Sunday’s race will be 109 laps total, including 25 for the first stage. 

2:10 p.m.: And we’re off!

1:58 p.m.: Panthers coach Ron Rivera making an appearance at the track. 

1:35 p.m.: About 25 minutes from the start of the race and people are filling into Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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