Matt Kenseth holds off Kyle Larson for thrilling victory at Dover

“I was trying to do all you could do to get by him without getting into him,” Larson said.

Kenseth, Larson and Elliott were among the survivors after Jimmie Johnson triggered a late-race crash that eliminated several contenders.

He was responsible for a pileup straight out of the Talladega highlight reel that knocked out a slew of drivers who raced up front all race and brought it to a halt with fewer than 50 laps left.

Johnson, a 10-time winner at Dover, failed to jump off the restart because of a faulty transmission in the No. 48. The six-time champion could not shift the Chevy into third gear and 18 cars — stacked and off at full speed — were collected in the melee.

He was leading in the outside lane as he closed in on the start-finish line. Martin Truex Jr. nailed the 48 from behind and Dover soon looked like the site of a gnarly demolition derby.

“In my career, I’ve never had a transmission do that to me,” Johnson said.

Truex, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Kyle Busch were among the drivers whose cars piled up on the concrete.

Truex led 47 laps and seemed poised to earn his first win of the season.

“I want to get out and punch somebody,” Truex said over the radio. “Seriously. Hard. Like, as hard as I can.”

Busch, the reigning series champion, knew there was nowhere for the 18 to go but into the pile.

“Wait for me, I’m coming,” he said.

Aric Almirola said he suffered a broken finger in the wreck.

The race was stopped for 11 minutes, 22 seconds — and quickly had another caution shortly after it resumed. Carl Edwards suffered a brutal blow when the No. 19 slammed nose-first into an inside wall protected by SAFER barriers. Larson made contact with Edwards and shot the JGR driver into the wall.

That left Kenseth, Larson and Elliott, who deftly avoided the Johnson-led accident, in a three-car battle down the stretch.

Kasey Kahne was fourth and Kurt Busch fifth.

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns has been voted the NBA’s rookie of the year, according to a person with direct knowledge of the award.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement has not yet been made. The NBA is scheduled to announce the winner Monday.

Among the top 10 were two Oklahoma City Thunder players — Kevin Durant (No. 5) and Russell Westbrook (No. 7) — and two Chicago Bulls: Derrick Rose (No. 6) and Jimmy Butler (No. 10).

Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving, who has only played in 13 games this season, and Houston Rockets forward James Harden, finished eighth and ninth in jersey sales, respectively.

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