Brad Keselowski was the last man standing after 16 caution and three red flags, winning the Alabama 500.
Just six undamaged cars were running towards the chequered flag at Talladega Superspeedway after multiple wrecks at the restrictor-plate track left one pack remaining with three laps left.
Keselowski out-raced Ryan Newman and Denny Hamlin for the thrilling win.
A wreck involving Daniel Suarez, Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott and Chris Buescher brought out the red flag with six laps remaining, setting up a sprint to the finish.
Newman led down the backstretch on the final lap but Keselowski used a neat crossover move to pass Newman on the high side and with the help of team-mate Joey Logano was able to hold on for the finish to punch his ticket to the Round of 8.
Newman was second, followed by Trevor Bayne, Logano, and Aric Almirola.
In his final race at the Talladega – his top track – Dale Earnhardt Jr. was in position for his first win in his final season in NASCAR but was pushed to fifth on the final lap and was unable to find a partner to push toward the front. He finished seventh.
In restrictor-plate racing, a simple slip can cause a wreck as cars are separated in the draft literally by inches. That is what happened when the "Big One" occurred with just 17 laps remaining, the first of three red-flag wrecks. Martin Truex Jr. was trying to create space in turn three and hit the rear of Kevin Harvick, who turned team-mate Kurt Busch igniting a huge wreck that collected out play-off drivers Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Matt Kenseth and others.
Another huge wreck occurred just five laps later as Logano appeared to get into Bayne, triggering a red-flag crash that collected Ryan Blaney and Harvick.
Play-off contender Jamie McMurray saw his hopes go up in smoke just 26 laps into the race during green-flag pit stops. McMurray slowed near Kyle Busch and was hit from behind by Erik Jones, which turned McMurray up the track and into Jeffrey Earnhardt.
"You assume everyone is working as a group," McMurray told NBC Sports. "It was my fault. I assumed that they said the 18 was going to let me in, so I thought we were all going to pit. I didn't even know where the 77 was. When I got on the brakes, I thought we were all coming to pit road as a group. I'll take the blame for that. I just kind of assumed we were coming to pit road right there. Obviously not everyone was."
The Cup Series will be back in action next Sunday at Kansas, where the bottom four drivers in the play-off standings will be eliminated from contention as the Round of 8 will be finalised.
|Jorginho has ´five-year Man City deal waiting´|
|BREAKING NEWS: Wolves sign Portugal goalkeeper Patricio|
|Pekerman criticises Barcelona´s treatment of Yerry Mina|
|Neymar misses Brazil World Cup training|
|FIFA opens disciplinary proceedings over alleged Mexico homophobic chants|
|Cisse hoping to be a pioneer for black and African coaches|
|World Cup over for Croatia´s Kalinic|
|Defiant Jones confident of upturn in England fortunes|
|Pogba a natural leader for France - Matuidi|
|Frampton to face Jackson as Fury continues comeback in Belfast|
|Team effort needed for Japan to stop James, says Nishino|
|Di Francesco extends Roma contract|
|It was a normal challenge - Switzerland equaliser fine by Shaqiri|
|Hamilton hopes to avoid ´boring´ French Grand Prix|
|Coutinho expects more Neymar punishment at World Cup|
|Cisse hails Mane as ´one of the best players in the world´|
|Forsberg falls flat as Granqvist proves Sweden´s hero|
|Sweden 1 South Korea 0: Granqvist´s VAR-assisted penalty settles tight game|
|Nishino concerned Japan players affected by Osaka earthquake|
|Isco pleased with Lopetegui´s Real Madrid appointment|
|Hazard hints at Real Madrid interest|
|Wasps disappointed as Wilson joins Scotland backroom staff|
|Hierro has full confidence in De Gea|
|Russia will stop Salah - Cherchesov|
|Allen signs new four-year Stoke contract|
|England issue update over injured duo Stokes and Woakes|
|Mancini leaves door open for Buffon´s Italy return|
|Alli calls for England to be ruthless in World Cup opener|
|Tahir rested as Proteas call up uncapped duo|
|Uruguay v Saudi Arabia: Centurion Suarez seeks World Cup redemption|
|Portugal v Morocco: Hat-trick hero Ronaldo hunts stricken Atlas Lions|
|Argentina didn´t draw because of Messi´s missed penalty - Maradona|
|Wenger heaps praise on France star Kante|
|If VAR helps referees, I´m not against that – Australia´s Sainsbury|
|Kimmich questions Germany mentality after shock defeat|
|Roberts to leave Warrington Wolves|
|Australia talent Arzani ready to make the jump from A-League|
|Lewandowski: I can be at the top until I´m 35|
|All Blacks winger Savea confirms Toulon switch|
|Free Fall available for France after red card rescinded|
|South Korea can progress from wide-open group, says Park Ji-sung|
|Gordon called up by Wallabies to replace injured Genia|
|Germany can still win World Cup, insists Werner|
|Man United & Real Madrid talk not affecting Milinkovic-Savic|
|Out-of-contract Ruiz focused on Costa Rica|
|Southgate will not bombard England with last-minute instructions|
|Muller: Germany under extreme pressure|
|Rangers score four runs in ninth to pick up walk-off win over Rockies|
|U.S. Open champion Koepka happy to continue being ´overlooked´|
|Pogba: I´m the most criticised player in the world|
|Maradona: Sampaoli´s game plan against Iceland was a disgrace|
|De Gea will bounce back from error – Marchena|
|Slater named for Maroons return|
|Woods, Faldo, Harrington and Koepka – U.S. Open champion joins fine club after successful defence|
|Fleetwood positive despite falling short at U.S. Open|
|Jesus: I had no reason to play for a penalty|
|Hernandez admits to exaggerating fouls against Australia|
|Koepka says winning two U.S. Opens not even in his ´wildest dreams´|
|Hernandez: Griezmann an idol at Atletico|
|Sri Lanka take charge despite Gabriel exploits|
|U.S. Open final-round timeline: How clinical Koepka kept his crown|
|Koepka fights off challengers to successfully defend U.S. Open title|
|´Aching´ Neymar urges referees to intervene|
|BREAKING NEWS: Koepka holds on to defend U.S. Open title|
|Lozano goal causes artificial earthquake in Mexico|
|Djokovic: Mental battle will be Murray´s biggest|
|Hummels criticises Germany tactics in Mexico loss|
|Brazil the latest favourites to stumble, but Tite and Neymar won´t panic|
|Magnificent Fleetwood matches U.S. Open record with closing 63|
|Brazil 1 Switzerland 1: Zuber pegs back below-par Selecao|