How the race was won
Stories of the race
Once again it was Kyle Busch vs. Carl Edwards. The contrast couldn't have been greater between these two and the field. This was a two-man race from the moment the green flag flew. No other driver even threatened to challenge them.
Kasey Kahne's rough night. Kahne got caught up in someone else's mess, but he's paying the price. He was running near the top 10 when he was an innocent victim in a multi-car crash. He wound up 40th and dropped three spots in the standings to 14th.
Hendrick drought. While eight of the top 12 finishers were from the Roush or Gibbs stable, Hendrick Motorsports placed just one car in the top 10 (Jeff Gordon, fifth).
Three weeks ago, it looked like Kyle Busch would cruise into the Chase with a huge points advantage. But back-to-back wins by Edwards has trimmed that lead to just 30 points, and Edwards still has two races to cut into it even more.
Again, Kasey Kahne took the biggest hit. Just two weeks ago, he seemed like a lock to make it. But he's dropped six spots in the standings in just the last two weeks and now finds himself in a 56-point hole.
Clint Bowyer and Denny Hamlin rebound. It didn't look good for Bowyer early, but he squeezed a top-10 finish out, as did Hamlin, as both improved their Chase chances. As it stands, Bowyer is back in the top 12, while Hamlin moved up to 11th.
What was he thinking?
Kyle Busch: OK, so Busch wasn't happy with the way Carl Edwards muscled him out of the way to take the lead, but Busch showed some immaturity when he rammed Edwards' car following the race. It seems that Busch is just fine when things go his way – read he's winning – but when they aren't, he loses control.
Junior's struggles continue
News of the weekend
We found out Casey Mears will be joining Richard Childress Racing next year. Don't really get this one. Mears is a nice enough guy, but this move seems like one of the recycling jobs we see all the time with coaches. If Mears couldn't get it done in a Hendrick car, why would we expect him to be better in a Childress ride?
Grading the race
Bristol is always exciting, and Saturday night's race was no different. Even though it was Busch leading the way for 415 of the 500 laps, he was in a battle with Edwards the whole way. Behind them, there was a ton of great, fender-to-fender racing, expecially with those trying to nudge their way back into the Chase mix. Best race in a while. Grade: A-
From the source
Carl Edwards, on his pass of Kyle Busch: "It's just racing. I have a lot of respect for the guy and he was real fast, but we can't give up points when they're right there for us to take."
Kyle Busch, on the post-race incident with Edwards: "He spun me out. So I just, you know, got into him a little bit and let him know that I didn't appreciate the way he passed me and he retaliated and ended up spinning me out."
- Kyle Busch
- Carl Edwards