It is the final race of the Sprint Cup season as Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, and Kevin Harvick are all battling for the Sprint Cup championship. Denny Hold only a small 15 point lead over Jimmie for the championship. Kasey Kahne though picked up his first poll as a Red Bull Racing driver. Jimmie Johnson had a solid qualifying effort while Deny Hamlin wound up qualifying well in the back.
Kasey starts out and leads the first few laps then Carl Edwards gets out and lead the race. Denny Hamlin is an early rocket as he moves up the field. The fiest caution comes out at lap 17 for David Reutimann who wound up hitting the wall and then blowing a tire. The leaders pit and Jimmie winds up with a slow pit stop of 14 seconds.
The green flag drops as Carl Edwards leads the race. On the next lap, lap 24, Denny Hamlin wind up taking a wild ride in the grass. The front splitter takes some damage, but the rest of the car is fine. This wound up causing a long green flag run where Denny marches up the field up big time again. Before lap 50 he was back into the top 20 again.
At lap 66 Denny Hamlin makes and slightly early pit stop to replace a bad tire. This causes all the other cars to come down pit road and Jimmie Johnson wound up with an even worse pit stop of 15.6 seconds for a rear tire that was slow to get on. Jimmie did lead a lap through before pitting to get those five bonus points. After the pit stops were over Martin Truex Jr. wound up taking over the race lead. Green flag racing continued until lap 98 for debris on the race track.
The leaders pit this time and Jimmie has a good pit stop this time, but looses a couple spots on pit road. After the green flag dropped Martin Truex Jr. leads a couple more laps until Carl Edwards takes the lead again. Martin though gets hot again and takes the lead back at 129. The caution though comes out six laps later for Marcos Ambrose that spins out.
The leader pit and Martin keeps the lead of the race. The green lag drops and on the next lap Joey Logano crashes. Martin Truex Jr. leads more laps during the next green flag run and then the caution comes out on lap 64 as Kevin Conway spins out.
Another slow stop for Jimmie which put him back in 12th place while Denny was in 13th. This green flag run saw Denny Hamlin move up and get into the top 10 for the first time today. With 84 laps left Jeff Burton hits the wall and makes it to road to not bring out the caution. Four laps later and the debris caution comes out. The leaders pit and Kevin Harvick gets out first to finally lead a lap. Jimmie got out right ahead of Denny Hamlin in 8th spot. Kevin though picked up a penalty for entering pit road too fast which canceled his laps led.
This time we get a short green flag run for Dave Blaney who hit the wall with 73 laps left. At the drop of the green flag Martin Truex Jr. has a blown tire as Kevin restarted in 23rd spot. The caution though flies again with 67 laps for Jeff Gordon and his smoking car. This brought in a bunch of cars down pit road, but Kevin stays out for some track position to get back up to 11th.
The green flag drops and Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth fight for the race lead with Carl winning the war. Jimmie, Denny, and Kevin start to move up through the field. Then Denny with around 55 laps left starts to slowly go backwards. With 48 laps left Jimmie is now up to second place.
Around 26 laps left green flag pit stop start and then on the next lap Kyle Busch crashes hard into the wall. After the wreck Denny is one lap down, but takes the wave around to get back on the lead lap and starts back in 18th. Carl Edwards gets the lead and puts Jimmie Johnson back in second. Kevin Harvick gets third place. Carl extends his lead over Jimmie as the laps wind down. Carl goes on to win his second race in a row while Jimmie gets his fifth championship in a row.
Carl Edwards stated that this was a great way to finish off the season.
Joe Gibbs stated that he was disappointed on the finish of the race today.
"Just so proud to be in this position," said Jimmie Johnson. "I can't believe this."
"It's awesome," said Rick Hendrick on winning his tenth championship. This championship now puts him in the lead over Petty Enterprises for most championships.
Kevin Harvick stated that he did all that he wanted to today but win the race.
"Our car was lightning fast up until that wreck," said Denny Hamlin.