With the Sprint Cup Series race ending at roughly 1:35 a.m. EST on Sunday morning, the recap is a little delayed. But there was just too much to say about the race to not post at all.
Jeff Gordon outlasted Kyle Busch over the second half of the Federated Auto Parts 400, finishing second to race-winner Clint Bowyer, taking the second wild card position by just three points. Busch finished 16th, not good enough to maintain the 12 point advantage he entered Saturday night with.
It was a reversal of fortune for both drivers, as it was the 24 team that struggled in the first half of the race. But Gordon persevered, caught a caution on lap 235, just as he was about to go two laps down and fought his way to a second-place finish.
So wait. How did he go from nearly two laps down to second place and more than 12 positions up on Busch who was running in the top-15 all night long?
It started with the mid-race hour-long rain delay that allowed Gordon and crew chief Alan Gustafson to formulate a plan to repair their ailing race car. Two cautions, a lucky dog, and track position later, Gordon had the fastest car on the track, chasing down a fuel-conserving Bowyer for the lead.
Ultimately, Gordon ran out of laps but bested Busch by 14 spots, good enough for the second wild card.
In a season where accidents and engine failures bit him so often, Busch just wasn't good enough to make the Chase on Saturday. Gordon was and now he's won the right to compete for the Sprint Cup Series championship.
So has Clint Bowyer -- you know, the actual winner of the race. Bowyer's victory is his second of the season and slots him sixth in the reseeded championship standings.
Lost in the wild card dramatics was Bowyer's wild day which included running top-three most of the day, getting spun out on the frontstretch by Juan Pablo Montoya, all before retaking the lead on lap 312, where he would stay for the remainder of the race.
The complete results and video can be found after the jump. Sorry for the delayed and shortened post - it's been one hell of a weekend.
Highlights: Federated Auto Parts 400 (via FoxSports)
|1||4||15||Clint Bowyer||5-hour Energy Toyota||400||47||4||126.3||$226,114||Running||1||88|
|2||2||24||Jeff Gordon||Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet||400||43||1||102.2||$203,546||Running||1||2|
|3||6||55||Mark Martin||Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota||400||41||105.8||$128,785||Running|
|4||28||14||Tony Stewart||Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet||400||41||1||104.3||$174,685||Running||1||15|
|5||17||17||Matt Kenseth||Best Buy Ford||400||39||96.5||$152,221||Running|
|6||20||31||Jeff Burton||Caterpillar Chevrolet||400||38||87.1||$135,335||Running|
|7||10||2||Brad Keselowski||Miller Lite Dodge||400||37||87.7||$125,530||Running|
|8||14||39||Ryan Newman||Quicken Loans Chevrolet||400||37||1||85.6||$126,218||Running||1||13|
|9||23||16||Greg Biffle||3M/Owens & Minor Ford||400||35||88.1||$93,885||Running|
|10||13||29||Kevin Harvick||Budweiser Chevrolet||400||34||102.8||$135,096||Running|
|11||11||22||Sam Hornish Jr.(i)||Shell Pennzoil Dodge||400||0||96.9||$122,210||Running|
|12||21||5||Kasey Kahne||Quaker State Chevrolet||399||33||1||106.7||$89,035||Running||1||3|
|13||5||48||Jimmie Johnson||Lowe's Chevrolet||399||32||1||101.7||$122,296||Running||1||2|
|14||1||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet||399||31||1||109.5||$92,435||Running||5||67|
|15||22||9||Marcos Ambrose||MAC Tools Ford||399||29||73.5||$106,593||Running|
|16||15||18||Kyle Busch||M&M's Toyota||399||28||81.2||$120,118||Running|
|17||16||99||Carl Edwards||Kellogg's Ford||399||27||78.0||$119,301||Running|
|18||7||11||Denny Hamlin||FedEx Express Toyota||399||28||2||125.6||$122,951||Running||5||202|
|19||12||83||Landon Cassill||Burger King Toyota||399||25||60.5||$102,880||Running|
|20||24||42||Juan Pablo Montoya||Target Chevrolet||399||24||69.5||$107,476||Running|
|21||9||56||Martin Truex Jr.||NAPA Auto Parts Toyota||399||24||1||99.2||$103,174||Running||1||7|
|22||26||1||Jamie McMurray||Bass Pro Shops/Allstate Chevrolet||398||22||68.6||$106,693||Running|
|23||25||27||Paul Menard||Menards/Moen Chevrolet||398||21||63.6||$83,385||Running|
|24||3||78||Regan Smith||Furniture Row/Farm American Chevrolet||398||20||69.9||$101,293||Running|
|25||29||47||Bobby Labonte||Bush's Beans Toyota||397||19||59.3||$99,568||Running|
|26||18||43||Aric Almirola||Smithfield Ford||397||18||58.2||$111,571||Running|
|27||32||93||Travis Kvapil||Burger King/Dr. Pepper Toyota||397||17||54.2||$96,568||Running|
|28||30||51||Kurt Busch||Phoenix Construction Chevrolet||396||16||55.6||$93,843||Running|
|29||42||13||Casey Mears||GEICO Ford||396||15||49.8||$83,507||Running|
|30||8||20||Joey Logano||The Home Depot Toyota||396||14||60.2||$83,335||Running|
|31||35||38||David Gilliland||Mossy Oak/Pursuit Channel Ford||395||13||44.0||$73,210||Running|
|32||27||34||David Ragan||Taco Bell Ford||395||12||44.9||$70,560||Running|
|33||33||36||Dave Blaney||Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet||395||11||48.2||$70,435||Running|
|34||37||10||David Reutimann||No.10 Inc. 5000-@TMone 6-peat Chevrolet||393||10||44.0||$70,310||Running|
|35||39||32||Ken Schrader||Federated Auto Parts Ford||393||9||36.6||$78,160||Running|
|36||36||33||Stephen Leicht #||Special Ops OPSEC Chevrolet||390||8||35.1||$79,510||Running|
|37||31||30||David Stremme||Inception Motorsports Chevrolet||127||7||31.2||$69,880||Brakes|
|38||34||87||Joe Nemechek(i)||AM/FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves Toyota||90||0||36.5||$69,728||Brakes|
|39||38||23||Scott Riggs||North Texas Pipe Chevrolet||78||5||32.5||$66,900||Brakes|
|40||40||19||Mike Bliss(i)||Plinker Tactical Toyota||70||0||29.0||$66,775||Wheel Bearing|
|41||19||98||Michael McDowell||Phil Parsons Racing Ford||63||4||1||35.2||$66,625||Brakes||1||1|
|42||41||26||Josh Wise #||MDS Transport Ford||57||2||24.9||$66,500||Brakes|
|43||43||91||Reed Sorenson(i)||Plinker Tactical Chevrolet||57||0||24.9||$66,860||Power|