It was a race of desperation.

For Christopher Bell, who had to win Sunday to stave off elimination from NASCAR’s playoffs.

For reigning NASCAR champion Kyle Larson, who hit the wall and suddenly found his chances of racing for a second consecutive Cup title in serious jeopardy.

For Trackhouse Racing, the feel-good upstart young team hoping to celebrate its 100th start by advancing both its drivers into the third round of NASCAR’s playoffs.

And for Stewart-Haas Racing, which is now under NASCAR investigation for potential race manipulation.

When the checkered flag finally flew, only Bell was celebrating.

His victory in overtime on the road course at Charlotte Motor Speedway moved him into the round of eight and possibly made him a true title contender. His Joe Gibbs Racing team used the first natural caution of the race — it came with five laps remaining — to bring Bell in for new tires on his Toyota. The fresh Goodyears gave Bell the advantage to drive through the field for his second win of the season and third of his career.