Sprint Cup drivers took to a green racetrack for a day race to decide who gets the final spots in the chase. Tropical Storm Hanna moved the race until Sunday. This left Kyle Busch to get the poll due to lead in the Sprint Cup points.
“It’s a better car,” said Denny Hamlin on the car he brought today compared to the last time he was at this track. He said that he would not be competitive in the old car.
Jimmie Johnson says that the car “looses grip” when racing in the day instead of at night.
The first 36 laps of the race went caution free and then a competition yellow came out to check for tires. During this time Kyle Busch was in the lead of the race until lap 30 when Kevin Harvick to the lead of the race.
The leaders pit and Jeff Gordon took only two tires to take the lead of the race. He lost the lead quickly to Kevin Harvick. The green flag racing went for a long time and on lap 74 Carl Edwards came in to replace some right side tires. A couple more laps went by and Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the lead of the race. The green flag racing continued until lap 97 and then Johnny Sauter smacks the wall due to a tire going down.
This brought all the leaders onto pit road with Dale Jr. getting the lead off pit road. The green flag dropped on lap 1-3 and the caution quickly came out as Michael Waltrip spins out. Green flag drops on lap 109 and it was not long before the caution popped up on lap for Greg Biffle that spun out.
The next caution came out on lap 122 for David Ragan who spins out and with nowhere to go Matt Kenseth winds up getting the worst of the damage. Dale Jr. was still in the lead of the race at this time.
The green flag drops again and we finally get a good green flag run that lasts until lap 162 for a Juan Pablo Montoya spin. During this time Kevin Harvick was able to get the lead on lap 134.
The leaders pit again and Dale Jr. was able to win the race off road again. During this green flag run Kyle Busch was able to get the lead of the race and then on lap 202 the caution came out for the spinning cars of Sam Hornish Jr. and Martin Truex Jr.
Leaders came into this time. After the drop of the green flag at lap 212 Kyle Busch came down on the racetrack, wound up hitting Dale Jr. and his car and then spins out.
Lap 227 saw the next caution as Elliott Sadler spins out. Some of the cars on the lead lap pit including Denny Hamlin. After the drop of the green flag Tony Stewart in some three wide action got the lead of the race.
Green flag racing did not continue for long and on lap 242 with some help from Elliott Sadler saw a spin from Kyle Busch. With some pit strategy David Retiumann stays out to lead the race with Mark Martin in second.
At the drop of the green flag he was able to break out to a three second plus lead over Mark Martin and then Tony Stewart got around Mark Martin for second place. The caution finally came out on lap 297 for Brian Vickers who hit the wall.
This brought all the cars on the lead lap to pit road with David Reutimann winning the race off pit road with Tony Stewart coming out in second. David did not get a great restart that helped Juan Pablo Montoya who is a lapped car to get in front of him. That did help keep Tony in second place though.
With 86 laps left the next caution comes out as Bobby Labonte spins out. Winding up getting caught in the spin was Bill Elliott and Carl Edwards.
This time when the green flag dropped David was able to get a good restart and was able to hold lead against Tony Stewart. During this green flag run Clint Bowyer winds up hitting Regan Smith which wound up hitting David Ragan giving him a new tire rub.
With 52 laps left a short battle finally occurs for the lead of the race and Tony Stewart took the lead of the race.
Ten more laps go by and Scott Riggs spins out. The leaders come in and using some pit strategy Martin Truex Jr. leads the race with Jimmie Johnson coming out in second place. In a few laps after the green flag dropped it was Jimmie Johnson in the lead of the race.
With 31 laps left Paul Menard and Patrick Carpentier get together for the fourteenth caution on the day. The green flag drops with 26 laps left and Jimmie got a great restart. Tony Stewart though down low with 12 laps left was in a big battle for the lead. With six laps left it got back to single file racing with Jimmie in the lead. Tony had nothing left at the end of the race and wound up winning the race.
Jimmie Johnson said that the 48 car is going to be ready for the championship battle. He also said the chances are “high” that he can win the championship again.
“We had a good day,” said Tony Stewart. He stated that he got the big prize of getting into the chase.
“Up and down day,” said Denny Hamlin. “We did what he had to do.” This was his third third place finish in a row.
Jeff Gordon said that his car was not bad at all who finished the race in eighth.
Greg Biffle said that he wished he run a little bit better today.
“Really disappointed in this,” said Kasey Kahne in not making the chase. “We need to get better to run with Kyle.”
“Very disappointing,” said David Ragan. He stated that running in 25th spot you do not deserve to be in the chase. He finished the day in 32nd spot.
At the end of the race Clint Bowyer was able to get the final spot in the chase.
David Ragan wound up 77 points out of the chase while Kasey Kahne wound up only 69 points out.