How the race was won
Johnson Pit stops were crucial, and this all came down to the final stop. With 10 laps to go, the final competition caution of the race came out. Jimmie Johnson went down pit road in third. He came out in first, just ahead of Carl Edwards. That proved enough as Johnson hung on for the win.
Stories of the race
Tires, tires, tires. Prior to the race, drivers and crew chiefs were worried about how many laps the right side tires would last. But no one expected it would be as bad as it was, with the longest green-flag run lasting only 12 laps.
Competition cautions. To help eradicate some of the problems caused by tire wear, NASCAR held a competition caution just about every 10 to 15 laps of the 160-lap race.
Give 'em credit
AJ Allmendinger finished 10th, the first top-10 finish of his career.
In the wake of news that he may not be back at Roush Racing in 2009, Jamie McMurray showed he can still compete, finishing sixth.
What were they thinking?
NASCAR: Goodyear is not to blame for the tire debacle. NASCAR had every opportunity to allow a test at the track but didn't. (The three-car test in April was a Goodyear test, not a NASCAR test.) Yes, Goodyear builds the tire, but ultimately it's up to NASCAR to make sure everything is in good working order. They didn't do that this weekend.
Not so fast
Martin Mark Martin predicted he would win the race at Indianapolis. It didn't happen. In fact, after starting second, Martin wasn't much of a threat all day, ultimately winding up 11th.
The biggest loser
Matt Kenseth had a car capable of winning the race. Unfortunately, as he was driving toward the front his right-rear tire blew up – litterally – destroying Kenseth's car. He wound up 38th.
Grading the race
When the longest green-flag run is 12 laps and NASCAR is calling for competition cautions all the way until the checkered flag, you know it's not a good day. NASCAR did what they had to do to keep the drivers safe, but that made for a terrible race to watch. Fans would be more than justified in asking for their money back. Grade: F-
From the source
Jeff Gordon: "Never seen anything like this. Really hate that it happened here at the Brickyard, it's such a big race. I think all of us are disappointed in what went on here today."
Denny Hamlin: "It's frustrating, but I applaud NASCAR for putting safety first. They don't want to see us tear apart race cars and they don't want to see us be put in danger. So, they did what they had to do with the circumstances that they were given."