Tony Stewart's Hall of Fame career will not end in a championship as the veteran, set to retire this year, was unable to advance to the Round of 12 following a 13th-place finish in the Citizen Soldier 400 at Dover International Speedway on Sunday.
It was also a tough day for Chip Ganassi Racing, who saw drivers Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson also fail to advance in the Chase for NASCAR Sprint Cup series following mechanical issues.
McMurray dropped a cylinder in the engine and fell over 100 laps down, while Larson experienced a tire issue with 220 laps gone while already running three-laps down at the one-mile Delaware track.
Chris Buescher was the fourth driver eliminated as he failed to finish higher than 23rd in the three Chase races.
Martin Truex Jr finished his impressive opening round of the Chase by dominating at Dover. The No. 78 clinched his second win of the opening 16-driver round by leading 187 laps, giving him 1,594 laps led this season, more than his previous five seasons combined.
"We're not messing around I guess. I don't know," Truex said after the race. "What else can you say?
"We are here to get it done and golly I'm telling you [my team is] just the best bunch of guys you could ever ask for. It's just amazing to drive their race cars and do what we were able to do. I'm just ecstatic.
"So many people to thank again. I mean, this is just unbelievable. Especially here, I love this race track. It's been considered a home track for me for a long time. It's been since '07 since I won here. Have a lot of heartbreaks here, but all in all just a phenomenal race car again today."