NASCAR Chicago Results 2012: How Each Chase Driver Fared In GEICO 400

Here's a look back at the results of Sunday's GEICO 400 – NASCAR's Chase-opening race at Chicagoland Speedway – and how each of the playoff drivers performed in the race:

Brad Keselowski

Finish: 1st

What happened: Used a faster green-flag pit stop than Jimmie Johnson to take over the first position, then pulled away late to win the race and lead the NASCAR point standings for the first time in his career.

Quote: "It feels like Round 1 of a heavyweight title bout. Week 1 is done and we won the round, but we didn't by any means knock them out. We've got a lot of racing left to go." (Full story)

Jimmie Johnson

Finish: 2nd

What happened: Led 172 laps to dominate the race, but lost the lead to Keselowski on the final green-flag pit stop.

Quote: "We had a very, very solid day. Of course we could have loved to have won the race, but we'll take second and go on. This is a fantastic way to start the Chase."

Kasey Kahne

Finish: 3rd

What happened: Had a strong car all day, but wasn't quite as good enough to lead a lap or run down Johnson and Keselowski.

Quote: "We had a great run. The team did a really nice job. The pit stops were perfect throughout the whole race. The car was good. ... They were just better than I was throughout that race."

Tony Stewart

Finish: 6th

What happened: Started 29th and rallied into the top 10, but dropped to 28th after a vibration caused him to pit twice during a caution. Later, he drove back up into the top 10 again

Quote: "We probably passed more cars than anybody today, so not exactly what we were looking for. ... But if we can be a little bit off and end up with a top-10, then we are in good shape." (Full story)

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Finish: 8th

What happened: After starting in the back due to an engine change, Earnhardt Jr. worked his way into the top 10 thanks to a good car and pit strategy. But the team never made the car much better than it started, and he settled for eighth. (Full story)

Quote: "Eighth is alright, but I know Brad is going to run well and the 48 is obviously going to be tough. You can't run eighth every week and win the championship."

Martin Truex Jr.

Finish: 9th

What happened: The team missed the setup, and Truex was mired in the teens and 20s for much of the day before somehow rallying back to get a top-10.

Quote: "It wasn't looking pretty there for awhile, but just fought hard. ... Just picked them off one at a time. It wasn't easy, but we got it done."

Clint Bowyer

Finish: 10th

What happened: Bowyer and his team never got the car handling like it needed to, and Bowyer grew increasingly frustrated toward the end of the race.

Quote: "It just wasn't a good day. I don't know whether it was strategy or pit stops or what, but it seemed like we lost spots on pit road all day and it just cost us. You ain't going to win a championship with decent days – you have to have good days."

Kevin Harvick

Finish: 12th

What happened: Despite a two-tire strategy call for track position early in the race, Harvick struggled for most of the day and managed a 12th-place finish.

Quote: N/A

Greg Biffle

Finish: 13th

What happened: Biffle was steadily working his way toward the front, but things went south after the final pit stop of the day.

Quote: "We were driving up through there and the car was getting better and better and it never fails – the last stop of the day, we put our tires on and it went bad."

Denny Hamlin

Finish: 16th

What happened: Hamlin's gas man didn't get the car full of fuel on the final stop, and Hamlin ran out of gas on the last lap despite driving conservatively toward the end of the race. (Full story)

Quote: "You can't have self-induced problems, and this isn't luck or anything like that. This was just us making a big mistake with our fuel again. It's tough, but we're strong enough and fast enough in the Chase that we can make up 15 points easily."

Matt Kenseth

Finish: 18th

What happened: A broken shock (which actually fell off the car) doomed Kenseth's chances of running well at Chicagoland.

Quote: "(We) thought we could maybe sneak out a top-10, which isn't nearly good enough but it would still keep you in the game. When we had that (shock) problem, we got so far behind (but) thankfully we were able to stay on the lead lap. I was in the back and couldn't go anywhere. My car just wasn't fast enough."

Jeff Gordon

Finish: 35th

What happened: A potential top-five run was ruined when Gordon's throttle partially stuck open and caused him to slam the wall at full speed, ending his day. (Full story)

Quote: "I don't know if we had anything to win the race, but we certainly were giving it everything we had. That's very disappointing."

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