Weather: Mostly cloudy, breezy and cool Race recap: A smart call in the late-race pit stop at lap 256 of 300 to take on just two right-side Goodyear Eagles put second-year Nextel Cup driver Denny Hamlin out front of the leaders who mounted four...
Weather: Mostly cloudy, breezy and cool
Race recap: A smart call in the late-race pit stop at lap 256 of 300 to take on just two right-side Goodyear Eagles put second-year Nextel Cup driver Denny Hamlin out front of the leaders who mounted four fresh tires, but he held off their challenge to win on Sunday. Hot on his bumper was Jeff Gordon, who was a rookie the first year the series raced at Loudon in 1993. Hamlin beat him to the line by a mere .068-second margin, while averaging 108.215 mph in the race. There were 20 lead changes among 11 drivers and six cautions for 30 laps.
Toyota, new this season in Nextel Cup this set its own milestone at the Magic Mile, putting its brand on the pole with a run by Ohio-native Dave Blaney.
Jeff Gordon leads the chase to the championship with 156 points over closest contender Hamlin, who is followed by Matt Kenseth back 365, Jimmie Johnson behind by 381 and Jeff Burton trailing by 383 points.
Goodyear Racing comment by Phil Holmer, marketing manager: "Our race-proven tire recommendation for most one-mile tracks once again did its job in fine fashion this weekend. These tires were important in the race, in a good sense, as they gave teams the choice of pitting or not, or of changing two or four tires. They also were used successfully at Phoenix, Richmond and Milwaukee."
Companion event: As Saturday's Busch Series Camping World 200 drew toward a close, Carl Edwards spent six laps quickly closing in on leader (and polestarter) Kevin Harvick, who threw a block at him at turn four of the final lap to clinch the win by 0.284 seconds. Following across the line were Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin.
There were eight lead changes among five drivers and six cautions for 24 laps. One of those was startling as the car of Eric McClure shot up on top of the SAFER barrier and rode it with two wheels through turn four.
Edwards continues to hold a huge championship advantage that now is 809 points ahead of second-place David Reutimann.
-credit: goodyear racing