How the race was won
Johnson Johnson, thanks to his first pit stall selection he got for winning the pole, beat Edwards off pit road on the final pit stops. From there, Carl Edwards couldn't catch Johnson. Utilizing all options, Edwards went for the "slide job," a move where Edwards drove deep into the Turn 4 corner, knowing he would slam into the wall. The hope is he wouldn't lose too much speed and would have enough to carry him to the finish line ahead of Johnson. The wall, however, didn't cooperate and Johnson was able to beat Edwards to the line.
Stories of the race
Kyle Busch bows out again, Part 2: Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse for Busch, it did. After having engine issues for the second straight race, Busch was visibly upset and rightfully so. He worked too hard during the regular season not to even be given a chance in the Chase, which is exactly what's happened.
Tony's temper: At first it just looked like a typical spin, but after further review Tony Stewart's ride through the infield grass started when he bumped into Brian Vickers in what appeared to be retaliation for an incident on pit road. There's only one word to describe the move – stupid.
True professional: Jeff Gordon said that he had never felt more physically ill before a race. The four-time champion had a back-up driver standing by, but stayed in the car and wound up fourth. Have to give him credit for fighting through illness to keep his slim title hopes alive.
What's happened to JGR?
After three races, the three Joe Gibbs Racing entries in the Chase are pulling up the back of the field. Denny Hamlin is 10th, Stewart 11th and Busch 12th. What's happened to the regular season's best team? Maybe it has something to do with temperament.
His last shot
For full disclosure purposes, we'll acknowledge that we like AJ Allmendinger here at Y! Sports. That said, if Sunday was his last ride in the No. 84 Red Bull Toyota, then Allmendinger went out with a bang, finishing ninth. If the former open-wheel driver isn't in a Cup ride next season then something is wrong. Allmendinger has absolutely shown that when given good equipment he can compete in the Sprint Cup Series.
Grading the race
I didn't have high expectations for this race going in, and my fears were founded. Once again on a 1.5-mile track, it was mostly follow-the-leader racing. The most action happened on pit road, which is never a good thing. The highlight was Edwards' attempt at the slide job, which made for one of the most exciting final laps of the season. Grade: C+
From the source
Jimmie Johnson: "I was so in awe of how fast (Carl Edwards) drove it in, I watched him pound the wall and jump back on the gas. I thought, Man, he's serious about this win, I better get back on the gas myself."
Carl Edwards: "I planned on hitting the wall, but I didn't plan on the wall slowing me down that much. In video games, you can just run into the wall and run it wide open. That's what I did, but it didn't quite work out the same as the video game."