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Jamie McMurray crashed the party, but Jimmie Johnson is smiling, too. The four-time champion was down early at Charlotte Motor Speedway, spinning on Lap 33 in Saturday night's Bank of America 500. But he managed to rally back and actually extend his points lead. Imagine that.
Here is a look at how the 12 Chase drivers fared in Race No. 5 of the Chase at Charlotte:
1. Jimmie Johnson – Finished 3rd: Everyone has issues, even Johnson. But for whatever reason, the 48 team always seems to bounce back. At one point in the race, Johnson had slipped to fourth in the standings. He wound up extending his points lead. (Leader)
2. Denny Hamlin – Finished 4th: A huge performance for Hamlin, who has never been very good at Charlotte. He didn't beat Johnson, but he minimized the damage better than he could have imagined. (-41 points)
3. Kevin Harvick – Finished 8th: Like Hamlin he lost points, but he has to be satisfied. Now, Harvick has to hope he can stay with both Hamlin and Johnson at Martinsville. If he can, he'll look to make his move at Talladega. (-77 points)
4. Jeff Gordon – Finished 23rd: Shot himself in the foot again with a speeding penalty on pit road. That would really hurt if he weren't already struggling with a mechanical issue. The drive for five is unofficially done. (-156 points)
5. Kyle Busch – Finished 2nd: Was not happy finishing second, pretty much because all he's racing for is wins. He had the best car most of the night and did everything he could but lead the final lap. (-177 points)
6. Tony Stewart – Finished 21st: His night was over before it ever started, suffering damage early. Stewart was never a factor, putting to waste his win from a week ago. (-177 points)
7. Carl Edwards – Finished 12th: Last week Edwards said his title hopes were still alive. Now, they aren't. He did OK, but like it's been all season, Edwards just isn't as fast as the guys ahead of him in the standings. (-200 points)
8. Kurt Busch – Finished 30th: Wherever there is trouble, Kurt Busch will find it. His hope for a season sweep at Charlotte was dashed early when he spun himself in Turn 4. (-225 points)
9. Jeff Burton – Finished 20th: The only person who may have worse luck than Kurt Busch is Burton, who once again couldn't get to the checkered flag without incident. (-237 points)
10. Greg Biffle – Finished 5th: Looked like he might be a factor early for the win, but Biffle never could quite catch Kyle Busch and McMurray. (-239 points)
11. Matt Kenseth – Finished 6th: He's running better now than he has all season, which will hopefully bode well for Kenseth heading into 2011. (-256 points)
12. Clint Bowyer – Finished 17th: Was a contender, then not a contender, then a contender again and finally not a contender. Kind of like his entire Chase. (-300 points)