Chevy Rock & Roll 400

Jay Hart

How the race was won

Jimmie Johnson

Johnson In one of the better head-to-head battles of the season, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart jockeyed for the lead over the last 15 or so laps. Stewart, who lost the lead on pit road, actually passed Johnson on Lap 390, but the two-time defending champion held strong, never letting Stewart get away and quickly passed him back on Lap 394, then hung on to win.

Stories of the race

Chase to the Chase. Who would get in – Clint Bowyer, David Ragan or Kasey Kahne? Kahne never had the car and fell out of contention early; Ragan's chances took a hit when he lost control of his car and slammed the wall on Lap 123. Bowyer, usually strong at Richmond,squeaked out a 12th-place finish to limp into the Chase.

Testy Tony. Stewart was ticked off that he lost a spot to Johnson on pit road. Did it matter? Maybe, maybe not, but Stewart felt it did. He was none too happy with his crew, threw them under the bus over his radio, then got reprimanded by crew chief Greg Zipadelli for doing so.

Weather. Tropical Storm Hanna rushed up the East Coast, delaying both the Cup and Nationwide races until Sunday.

Chase notes

By virtue of his eight regular season wins, Kyle Busch starts the Chase with a 30-point advantage over Carl Edwards and 40 points over Johnson.

Jeff Gordon and Stewart are in the Chase, but because they have yet to win a race this season will start 80 points down to Busch.

Biggest loser

Only four drivers have won multiple races this season. Only one of them missed the Chase, and that's Kasey Kahne. Is this an indictment of Kahne or his team? Probably a little of both.

Who's the favorite?

Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch Kyle Busch may have the points lead entering the Chase, but is there any doubt who's the favorite? Watching Johnson win the final two races of the regular season – just like he did last year – has to have Busch and Carl Edwards shaking in their boots. Johnson once again is peaking at just the right time.

Grading the race

First off, even though the weather held off somewhat and a race maybe could have been run on Saturday night, NASCAR absolutely did the right thing in postponing it until Sunday. As for the race, the late-race battle between Johnson and Stewart was some of the best side-by-side racing in a season where there hasn't been a lot of that for the lead. Grade: B+

From the source

Jimmie Johnson: "The less I can think about all of the stuff that's coming up in the next 10 races, the better I'm going to be, and just fall back into the confidence that I have in my race team and my abilities and the confidence that we are bringing to the track and give 100 percent."

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: "I think if I wreck somebody, I ain't going to leave him in good enough shape to come back and get me in the same race, so that wasn't really my intentions. If I wanted to, I really ain't never wrecked anybody on purpose, I can go back and remember a couple of times but if I wanted to do it, I would do it really, really good."