The Bank of America 500 ended up being another wildcard race in the Chase for the Nextel Cup. The evening's biggest losers were Jeff Gordon who suffered a mechanical failure and Denny Hamlin who was wrecked on the first lap. Biggest winners:...
The Bank of America 500 ended up being another wildcard race in the Chase for the Nextel Cup. The evening's biggest losers were Jeff Gordon who suffered a mechanical failure and Denny Hamlin who was wrecked on the first lap.
Biggest winners: Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Burton.
1. Jeff Burton: (Leader) Burton stalled during a green flag pit stop on lap 241 falling one lap down. Luckily for Burton there were only nine cars on the lead lap on the restart so he was scored in 11th place. He worked his way back to a third place result.
"I stalled the car leaving the pits and went a lap down and had to fight to get it back," explained Burton. "We got back by the 9 car and we were able to do it. I feel pretty bad that I stalled it leaving the pits but it was a good night."
2. Matt Kenseth: (-45) Kenseth was forced to pit under green and put the hood up on the No. 17 Ford to fix a tire rub. They changed two tires under that stop but had to return to pit road an extra time to change the other two. That placed Kenseth two laps down and finished in 14th place.
"We just got lucky," said Kenseth. "A lot of people had trouble, that's the only reason. We'd be kidding ourselves thinking we can win a championship operating like we did tonight."
3. Kevin Harvick: (-89) On lap 216, Harvick radioed in that he lost third gear in the No. 29 Chevy. He was then penalized for speeding on pit road during stops on lap 241 sending him three laps down. He made up one lap but still finished 18th.
"Man we are living right," said Harvick. "We got lucky tonight. We are living right, all three gears broke and the thing was still running."
4. Mark Martin: (-102) On lap 239, Martin had trouble on pit road after the team had issues with lug nuts. They lost track position, restarted in the back and were summarily wrecked the next lap (241).
"The championship is something that was not really meant for me ever," said Martin who finished 30th. "Probably isn't this year and it's not going to get me down. I am having a blast."
5. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.: (-106) Earnhardt led at times and had a top-five car all evening. He finished fourth.
"I was real happy with tonight," said Earnhardt. "We led for awhile and got to run good in front of a lot of friends and family. It was a good night for us."
6. Denny Hamlin: (-137) Rookie Hamlin's chances for a title this season went up in smoke on lap one of the Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Hamlin was caught up in a multi-car crash which required Hamlin to come to the garage for repairs.
"Looked like the 7 (Robby Gordon) got loose off of turn four, we checked up and somebody else didn't and it was a chain reaction. I kind of put myself back there by qualifying bad," explained Hamlin.
He spent 62 laps in the garage before rejoining the field. Hamlin finished 28th.
7. Jimmie Johnson: (-146) Johnson had a good solid night and finished second.
"We have to see what happens. If we can run like tonight and run upfront and get good finishes. If we can't win the championship then we want to finish as high in points as we can."
8. Kasey Kahne: (-160) Race winner.
"We are making ground," Kahne said. "We are down to 160. We've cut it about half. It's good. We are doing everything we can. We want a top five, want to win some more races, we'll see what happens. I have the team behind me to do it."
9. Kyle Busch: (-195) Busch got penalized for speeding on pit road during on lap 88; the stop-and- go penalty sent him to the rear of the field. He ended up sixth.
"We ran good tonight but we know that the championship is out of reach," said Busch.
10. Jeff Gordon: (-216) Gordon lost engine late in the race finishing 24th.
"It's just not meant to be for us this year," said Gordon.