Get the latest Timmy Hill news, media, stats, and standings for the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver only on the official site of NASCAR.
Get the latest Timmy Hill news, media, stats, and standings for the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver only on the official site of NASCAR.
Sam Hornish Jr. suffers right-front damage after Timmy Hill spins in front of him.
Get the latest Timmy Hill news, media, stats, and standings for the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver only on the official site of NASCAR.
After Cole Whitt and Danica Patrick get together, Timmy Hill runs in to Matt Kenseth's rear bumper in the aftermath at Bristol Motor Speedway.
See where each driver finished at Charlotte and why RELATED: Track your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge and Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota Editor's note: Drivers in italics are in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup 1. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing Harvick showed the "freaky fast" dominance that he's been notorious for throughout the 2014 season as he led for a total of 162 laps out of 334 to win the Bank of America 500 . Harvick started seventh in the field and maintained a top-10 presence. The No. 4 SHR driver won by pulling away on the final restart on Lap 333 to beat Jeff Gordon to the finish line by .571 seconds. Harvick enters the final race in the Contender Round with a win to guarantee a position in the Eliminator Round. Get more driver data with RaceView. 2. Jeff Gordon , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports Gordon wasted little time shooting from second place to stealing the lead from Kyle Busch on Lap 14. The No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports driver led for a total of 74 laps before finishing .571 seconds away from first. Gordon currently sits sixth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings with 18 points over Matt Kenseth , the first driver sitting in a position to be eliminated in ninth. 3. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing McMurray used an interesting pit strategy on a Lap 95 caution, only taking two tires. The pit move put the No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing driver second in the field on the restart, alongside Dale Earnhardt Jr ., who also only took two tires. Unlike Dale Jr., McMurrary maintained his position. CGR teammates McMurray and Larson went on to bounce in and out of the top five, giving the Chase drivers a run for their money along the way. McMurray ultimately finished third at Charlotte, achieving his seventh top five of his Cup career at the track. Get more pit data with RaceView. 4. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske Logano played a low profile this week. Why make a scene when you're already guaranteed a spot in the Elimination Round of the Chase? "Sliced Bread" started 13th in the field, and besides his slight run-in with Danica Patrick on Lap 246 when he got into the back of the No. 10 coming out of Turn 2, causing Patrick to spin out, the Team Penske driver had a successful night. Logano remains on the top of the points standings heading into Talladega. See Logano's interaction with Patrick here . 5. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing Pole-sitter Kyle Busch came out looking as strong as ever. Leading a total of 41 laps, the No. 18 Toyota driver had a lot of contenders gunning after his lead position and he just couldn't hold off the hard-charging Harvick. Despite losing the lead, Busch just added another top-five finish at Charlotte his new total of 10. Busch sits second in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings. 6. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing Larson found the high line early in the race and was able to fly into the top 10 on a restart after the competition caution on Lap 25. The No. 42 Chevrolet driver even saw the lead for five laps. The Chip Ganassi Racing rookie has been consistent for his first Sprint Cup Series season -- with eight top fives and now 16 top 10s, Larson's sixth-place finish proves he's a driver Chasers should be worried about now and in the future. 7. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing Newman was running in the top 15 when a spin from Danica Patrick collected him and sent the No. 31 shooting across the track. Newman started the race fifth, and despite his incident managed to rally a top-10 finish. Newman now sits fourth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings as he heads to Talladega. See Newman's spin here . 8. Carl Edwards , No. 99 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing Starting 10th in the Bank of America 500 , Edwards didn't make any significant moves in the second race of the Contender Round of the Chase besides scoring his 13th top-10 finish at Charlotte. Looking ahead, Edwards is 12 points off of first in the standings. The No. 99 driver would need to finish 18th with no laps led, 19th with at least one lap led or 20th with most laps led at Talladega to advance in order to the clinch into the Eliminator Round of the Chase. 9. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing Hamlin started the race third and surprisingly didn't see the lead until Lap 272 out of 334. Hamlin led 22 laps before falling short to eventual winner Kevin Harvick . The lead gave Hamlin enough momentum to remain in the top 10 from there on out. After the race on the cool down lap, Hamlin found himself tangled in post-race drama with Brad Keselowski . The No. 2 and No. 11 seemed to have a disagreement, causing Keselowski to try to wreck Hamlin. "He just tried to turn ya," Hamlin's crew chief explained to Hamlin. "Get out of there. Be smart. Don't do nothing stupid. Let Tony (Stewart) handle it." Get more in-race audio with RaceView . " View the video of the post-race drama here . 10. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports Kahne escaped the craziness of what was the Bank of America 500 with a top-10 finish and even moved a position higher in the Chase standings. Currently sitting in the eighth position in the standings, in order for Kahne to clinch a spot in the Eliminator Round of the Chase he would have to win at Talladega. Kahne has three top-fives in 21 starts at the superspeedway with an average finish of 21.5. 11. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing The kind of run that Busch had at Charlotte was exactly the kind of run he needed earlier in the season to have remained in the Chase. Busch saw his way into the top five quickly after starting the race 11th in the field and even saw the lead for two laps. The No. 41 SHR driver finished 11th, more than 8 spots ahead of his average finishing position at the North Carolina track. 12. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing Although no longer in the Chase, Allmendinger is still running in the top 15. The 'Dinger started the race 26th and made significant positive movement in the race despite a pit road penalty on Lap 97 for equipment leaving his pit box. Allmendinger is also leading in the non-Chase driver standings. 13. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing Improving his previous Charlotte showing, the Sunoco Rookie of the Year competitor started the Bank of America 500 20th in the field and eventually led for a total of six laps during a flurry of green-flag pits stops. Dillon has shown he's powerful on speedways, earning his first Coors Light Pole Award at the start of the year in the Daytona 500 . Dillon's previous trip to Talladega had him finishing 15th. Not bad for a rookie. 14. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing In one of Truex's better races this season, the Furniture Row Racing driver started 23rd and made huge gains by Lap 124 and was running as high as sixth. Truex's average finish at Charlotte is 18.5 in 19 starts, so his 14th-place finish is a move in a positive direction. Truex Jr. moved up one spot in the standings. 15. Justin Allgaier , No. 51 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports Still in his rookie season, Allgaier has only two Sprint Cup Series starts at Charlotte, his best run coming in the Bank of America 500 . Not only was this Allgaier's best run at Charlotte, it was also his best run of 2014. Could the HScott driver be catching on? 16. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske Unlike Keselowski's typical chamionship-worthy form, the No. 2 Team Penske driver fought to stay in the top 10 at Charlotte. It wasn't until after the race that Keselowski started to heat up. During the cool-down lap, the No. 2 and No. 11 seemed to have a disagreement, causing Keselowski to go after Denny Hamlin . Once heading onto pit road Keselowski then went after Matt Kenseth and also crashed into Tony Stewart along the way. Stewart had no tolerance for it and reversed himself into Keselowski. Back in the garage area, Hamlin and Kenseth went after Keselowski and physical altercations broke out between the No. 2 and No. 20 team. All in all, with a finish of 16th, Keselowski now must battle at Talladega next week to keep his position in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Keselowski sits 19 points behind the eighth-place cut off for the Eliminator Round. View the video of the post-race drama here . 17. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports Better than his finish last week at Kansas, Johnson could have still had a better night in the Bank of America 500 . In his 27 starts, Johnson had earned seven wins at the North Carolina track, his most recent coming in the spring race of this year. Unlike his typical calm and cool demeanor, Johnson let a bit of the pressure get to him, resulting in a heated exchange with crew chief Chad Knaus over the radio as Knaus was trying to adjust Johnson's car. Hanging on the edge of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings in 11th, the Hendrick Motorsports driver must win at Talladega in order to clinch a spot in the next round. Johnson only has two wins in 25 starts at the Alabama superspeedway where he finished 23rd earlier this year. To hear the heated discussion click here . 18. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing Even though Biffle is out of the Chase, he still found a way to make an impact. Biffle's 18th-place finish was not only better than his spring showing, but the non-Chaser took away a position that Kenseth and Dale Jr. were gunning for. 19. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing After starting the race in the rear for unapproved adjustments, winless Chase contender Kenseth worked his way through traffic and even saw the top five. It wasn't until Lap 272 that things started to shake up. During a restart on that lap, Kenseth and Keselowski made contact and Hamlin ran away with the lead. The contact dropped Kenseth from fourth back to 18th-place. Following Harvick's win, Kenseth was driving down pit road with his seat belt and HANS device off, and Keselowski charged from behind him to scrape the back side of the No. 20 Toyota Camry. Kenseth later found Keselowski on pit road and a fight broke out between the two teams. View the video of the post-race drama here . 20. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports Earnhardt Jr. needed Charlotte to be a success story. He even went as far as declaring his win a day before the race. "We're gonna win this race," Earnhardt said in a televised interview after Friday's first practice at Charlote. "I've got a really good feeling about it." Earnhardt Jr. pitted before pit road was open on Lap 138 and got a penalty, forcing him to restart in the rear. The No. 88 crew also had to deal with a broken shifter in the Hendrick Chevrolet. Earnhardt was also penalized for speeding on pit road which ultimately set him back further in the field. After a second penalty for speeding and constantly battling to stay on the lead lap, Dale Jr. finished the race 20th and is currently 12th in the Chase standings with one race left in the Contender Round. Junior has the best record at Talladega of any of the Chasers on the bubble going into next round with five wins, 10 top-fives and 14 top-10s in 29 career starts. 21. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing It looked like a quiet night for Stewart. The SHR co-owner and driver started fourth in the field and by Lap 4 had stolen third from Hamlin. He eventually drifted back, occasionally making an appearance in the top 10. Stewart finished the race 21st and was heading down pit road when Keselowski made contact with the No. 14 as he was attempting to go after Kenseth. Stewart had zero tolerance for the No. 2's behavior and put his SHR Chevrolet into reverse, crunching the hood of Keselowski. View the video of the post-race drama here . 22. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports It's a good thing Almirola is no longer in the Chase running. His poor showings at both Kansas (31st) and Charlotte (22nd) would be a surefire way to eliminate himself. The No. 43 team couldn't seem to find their groove on Saturday night and caught themselves a lap down on Lap 85. After starting 15th, Almirola just dropped back. We know the RPM driver is capable of more because he finished 11th in the spring race this year. Perhaps, Almirola is experiencing more of a laid back attitude now that the Chase pressure is off his shoulders. 23. Landon Cassill , No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Racing With three previous DNFs at Charlotte, just finishing the race is an accomplishment for the No. 40 team. Cassill's 23rd-place finish is his second best in nine starts at the track. His best was 18th in 2012. Although Cassill only finished 331 out of 334 laps, this is still a move in the right direction. 24. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing While this isn't Stenhouse's worst finish at Charlotte, it isn't his best either. The No. 17 RFR driver started 28th in the field and didn't see much movement. Perhaps he was distracted by his contact he made with Mears on Lap 109. From the looks of it, it seemed intentional and Mears headed to pit road. If Stenhouse gets his mind back on racing, he might find himself in the top five at Talladega, as he was in 2013. 25. Marcos Ambrose , No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports 2014 hasn't been Ambrose's year at Charlotte. This weekend earning 25th, and then previously finishing 29th in the spring, he doesn't seem like he's looking to leave his mark on the Cup Series before he leaves after the end of the season. Moving forward, although the No. 9 is a road course expert, he did once earn a top five on Talladega Superspeedway . 26. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing Patrick celebrated a small victory early in the race as she moved up 11 positions to fourth in the race off pit road following the competition caution on Lap 25. After that, the No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing driver quickly fell into the 20s. Patrick brought herself back up to 11th but spun in Turn 2 after trying to get around Logano. Patrick collected Ryan Newman with her. "It was such a bummer for the GoDaddy team," Patrick said. "We were having such a good night, and I really think we had a car that was capable of a top-10 finish tonight, and that got taken away from us for really no reason. It's just really frustrating. Charlotte has not been good to me." The No. 10 suffered damage to the right-rear and front end as she hit the wall but was able to continue with the race. Patrick ultimately finished 26th, her second-best finish at the track in five starts. See Patrick's spin here . 27. Reed Sorenson , No. 36 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing Sorenson started 30th in the field and finished just three positions better. The No. 36 driver finished 42nd in the spring race, ultimately improving his finish by 15 positions in the fall race. Looking ahead, Sorenson has four DNFs at Talladega, his most recent coming in the spring. The Tommy Baldwin Racing driver's best finish at the superspeedway is 10th in 2007. 28. Cole Whitt , No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing Sunoco Rookie of the Year competitior Whitt made his fourth Sprint Cup Series start at Charlotte and scored his second-best finish. Whitt started 36th and finished 28th, raising him one spot in the Cup standings. 29. Michael McDowell , No. 95 Ford, Leavine Family Racing Scoring his best finish at Charlotte in 11 starts, McDowell might be on to something. Although he only improved two spots from his starting position, the No. 95 driver is chipping away at his high average finish of 36.3 30. Alex Bowman , No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing In his second career start at Charlotte, rookie Bowman may have had a finish barely inside the top 30, but it's the better of his two appearances, so that has to be a step in the right direction. His pit crew, on the other hand, might be what's slowing him down. On Lap 330, nearing the end of the race, Bowman pitted and was penalized for a missing lugnut on his car. Without that, could the No. 23 rookie have pulled off a top-20 finish? 31. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing It's been about seven years, but Mears knows what it feels like to win at Charlotte. More often than that, though, he knows how it feels to get a DNF at the track. Thankfully, the No. 13 driver avoided the latter, but finished several positions off his average of 23.6. 32. David Gilliland , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports Finishing two spots behind his position a week prior at Kansas, it seems like Gilliland might only drop off the map from here on out, or we could see another top 10 performance at Talladega like he put on in 2013. Although the No. 38 driver gained five positions from his starting spot, he still finished a few places behind his average of 29.8. 33. Michael Annett , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing Annett got into the wall on Lap 266, bringing out a caution at Charlotte. The No. 7 driver also experienced leakage earlier in the race, but finished 33rd despite his shortcomings. Annett finished 28th in his first start at Charlotte in the spring. 34. David Ragan , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports Ragan saw no movement at Charlotte after starting the race in the same position as he ended. Ragan's average finish at Charlotte is 23.7, but his last six efforts have all been worse than that. Looking ahead, the No. 34 Front Row Motorsports driver actually has a win at Talladega than came in the spring of 2013. 35. Corey LaJoie, No. 77 Ford, Randy Humphrey Racing Making his second career Cup start and his first at his hometrack, LaJoie didn't exactly make a grand entrance. The 23 year old started the race 42nd, so to say he didn't make any gains would be a lie, they were just few and far between. 36. Timmy Hill , No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport Spilled gasoline in Hill's pit box brought a small fire that was quickly extinguished on pit road. If only the No. 33 brought the same heat to the track. Hill finished 36th in his fourth start at Charlotte. This is the third time out of those four starts that Hill has finished 36th. 37. Brian Vickers , No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing Vickers was running in the top 15 when he spun in Turn 2, bringing out a caution on Lap 237. Vickers was then running 20th when his engine blew on Lap 328, bringing out another caution. Vickers finished 37th after starting the race eighth. This is Vickers' second time finishing 37th in 17 starts at Charlotte. 38. J.J. Yeley, No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing Yeley's best performance at Charlotte came in 2007 when he finished second. Since then, the No. 83 driver has hardly seen finishes inside the top 30. Although this isn't Yeley's worst finish at Charlotte, he's seen better days. 39. Blake Koch , No. 32 Ford, FAS Lane Racing Koch's 39th-place finish in the Bank of America 500 was the worst position the driver has earned in his total of three starts at the track. The only other tracks Koch has raced s Cup car are Phoenix and Dover. Some experience on different styles of tracks could help out the 29-year-old. 40. Brett Moffitt , No. 66 Toyota, Jay Robinson Racing In his first start at Charlotte Motor Speedway , the 22-year-old Sprint Cup part-timer was just getting his feet wet. Moffitt has made four other Cup starts this season, scoring his best finish of 22nd in his series debut at Dover. 41. Josh Wise , No. 98 Chevrolet, Phil Parsons Racing Wise had to head to the garage for vibrations on Lap 81, but returned on Lap 116. Not making any big moves, the No. 98 came down the apron, car smoking at Lap 221 bringing out a caution. Wise ultimately finished 41st and 156 laps behind. 42. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing On Lap 136, Menard brought out a caution as the No. 27 blew an engine and was forced to the garage. This was Menard's second career DNF at Charlotte, his first coming in 2008. Menard started sixth in the race and had showed potential of a top-10 finish. 43. Clint Bowyer , No 15 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing Bowyer faced engine issues on Lap 96, which brought out a caution, and ultimately had to take the No. 15 Toyota to the garage. This is Bowyer's first DNF at Charlotte and his fourth of 2014, his first coming in the season-opening Daytona 500 . MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceVie FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Driver-by-driver news and notes from the AAA Texas 500 MORE: Full race results " Updated series standings RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota Editor's Note: Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers are in italics 1. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports The defending race-winner looked downright dominant in this race, leading 191 laps and holding off Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski late in the race. Johnson was the fastest on restarts (186.226 mph) in his special red paint scheme for Lowe's. He may not be in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup anymore, but the win was special as it was the 70th of his Sprint Cup Series career. It was also the first time he had led triple-digit laps since his June win at Dover. After the win, Johnson told his team over the radio, "I'm proud of you guys…awesome job today." One of Johnson's teammates was also thrilled he won: Jeff Gordon . As Gordon said over the radio after learning Johnson won, "Good, yeah, thank him for not letting those other (expletive) win." " See how he won " Get more in-car audio with RaceView 2. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing Harvick spent practically the entire race in the top-five, but led only two laps on the day. His 500th start came at a track where he's never one, but Harvick gave it one heck of an effort. He simply didn't have enough to get to Johnson on the second G-W-C attempt. He also played a part in the post-race melee, shoving Brad Keselowski and setting off a firestorm of post-race activity. The veteran driver said he told Keselowski that he needed to get in there and fight his own fight. Harvick himself is in for a heck of a fight heading to Phoenix, sitting in eighth place but just six points out of the final transfer spot to the Championship Round at Homestead. With three wins in the last four races at Phoenix, will the desert be good to Harvick one more time? " Hear what Harvick said after the race 3. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske Keselowski and crew chief Paul Wolfe's gamble to stay out during a Lap 253 caution paid off big-time. Keselowski took the lead and would stay there for 22 laps, running well in the clean air. His contact with Gordon on the first G-W-C attempt had Gordon fuming, but Keselowski said the rubbing was just part of hard racing. The melee that ensued on pit road afterward included Keselowski, Gordon and even Harvick. The 2012 champion heads to Phoenix on the outside looking in at advancing to the Championship Round. He was on the outside heading into Talladega, and that turned out fine for him. Will he be able to do it again? " See the post-race altercation 4. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing While his bid for a weekend sweep of the Texas tripleheader was denied, "Rowdy" rebounded nicely for a top-five result. On Lap 205, he lost a right rear tire with the carcass of the tire coming out on the track to bring out a caution. By Lap 260, he was in 26th place. But thanks to cautions and strategy, the team was able to improve its track position. Take away his 40th place finish at Talladega and Busch's average finish in the Chase races would be 6.8. 5. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing McMurray was among the drivers who finished strong, as he made up 14 spots (the second-most) in the final 34 laps for his top-five finish. Of the non-Chase drivers, McMurray has enjoyed several good races in the postseason, as this was his third top-five finish in the eight Chase races. 6. Dale Earnhardt Jr . No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports Junior followed up his Martinsville win with a solid, workman-like effort. He led the way in quality passes with 64 and made up 11 spots in final 34 laps, according to loop data. Anything, however, would have been better than his spring race result, in which he exited after 12 laps due to a crash. 7. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing The end result of the AAA Texas 500 was Larson's seventh top-10 finish in 10 races, leaving the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender with strong loop data numbers. He was tied for fourth in quality passes (52) and tied for sixth in green flag passes (91). 8. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing In his first start with Tony Gibson atop the pit box, "The Outlaw" led 15 laps and looked to have a chance at the win late. With 13 cautions on the day, restarts were important and Busch had speed for them as he was the fourth-fastest car on restarts. It will be interesting to see what Gibson and Busch can do together in the final two races of 2014 as they prep for the 2015 season. 9. Carl Edwards , No. 99 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing Edwards struggled most of the day to find speed and was two laps down multiple times during the race. So how did he finish in the top 10? Edwards was the best closer of the race. He gained 16 spots in the final 34 laps to put himself one point out of the final transfer spot to the Championship Round. " See the complete standings 10. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing A two-tire gamble on a pit stop from the Lap 224 caution backfired as Hamlin went from first to 13th in a matter of three laps. However, Hamlin stayed out of trouble, spent the least amount of time on pit road and scored a top-10 finish out of it. More importantly, he is tied for the points lead with Joey Logano as he looks to make it the Championship Round. 11. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing The driver that topped 200-mph in qualifying bounced around the field. He was up front early then in the middle of the pack and then found himself towards the front late, as he was in fourth place on Lap 320. "Smoke" was one of only three drivers that finished on the lead lap to make just nine pit stops, the fewest total among lead lap finishers in the race. 12. Joey Logano . No. 22 Ford, Team Penske Logano spent much of the afternoon in the top 10 but had to overcome a lengthy pit stop of 26 seconds due to an issue with lugnuts. The extended pit stop pushed Logano back to 22nd place, and he later spun out, bringing out a caution on Lap 305. The Team Penske driver did rebound thanks to several more late cautions to find himself in good shape heading to Phoenix. Told by crew chief Todd Gordon he was the points leader, Logano answered, "can't be by much." And he is right: he and Hamlin share the honors. " See the trouble Logano overcame 13. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing Biffle had a pretty ho-hum race at one of his better tracks. For the second straight week, he finished 13th. He spent just 41 laps in the top 15, but they came at the right time for his end result. 14. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing Allmendinger gained 10 spots in the final 34 laps of the race to be the sixth-best closer, according to loop data. The 'Dinger also scored his fourth top-15 finish in his past five races. This one-car team is trying to finish 2014 on a strong note -- and is succeeding. 15. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing Newman had the fourth-fastest car during green flag runs (179.114 mph) but he had a little scare in this race. A left rear tire rub forced him to pit during a caution on Lap 321. He restarted 21st but was able to get back into the top 15. The winless driver is 11 points ahead of Kenseth, the first Chase driver in a position to be eliminated from the Championship Round. " See the damage Newman had 16. Brian Vickers , No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing Vickers spent the fourth-most amount of time in the top 15 (330 laps) but finished one spot outside of that position. He finished fourth in the spring at Texas and improved to ninth place in the points standings. This finish left him in 22nd place in the standings. 17. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing Menard was the second-fastest car in traffic, averaging 178.820 mph when another car was within one car length of his under green. The result was also Menard's fourth straight top-20 finish at Texas. 18. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing Mears' finish was his second top-20 result in the past three races and a 10-spot improvement from the spring race. Mears' pit crew was fast this time around, as he spent the eighth-fewest amount of time on pit road. " Get pit road times and more with RaceView 19. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing After two top-10 finishes at Dover and Kansas, Truex has averaged a finish of 24.5. The team has made strides in the latter stages of the season, but needs to finish strong to go into 2015 with some momentum. 20. Justin Allgaier , No. 51 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports Allgaier, a Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate, compiled the third-most green flag passes (96), according to loop data. The finish was his third straight top-20 result, with his failure to make the Talladega race thrown in the middle of that. 21. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing Dillon, also a Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, spent nearly half of the race in the top 15 and compiled the most green flag passes in the race (100), according to loop data. 22. Michael Annett , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing The Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate scored his second straight top-25 result. He even gained a spot in the Sprint Cup standings, moving up to 32nd. 23. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing The second-year driver had the lowest finish out of the Roush team. He has five top-25 finishes in his last five starts, but more was expected from him at this point. 24. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports Almirola came into this race with three top-15 finishes in his last four races at Texas. However, as has been the case since he was eliminated from the Chase, the team continued to struggle. In his past six races since a sixth-place result at Loudon, Almirola has an average finish of 27.5. 25. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing The pole-sitter for this race had an eventful day -- one that saw him lead 59 laps but also have his share of problems. Those included a pit road mishap when a lugnut fell off and was wedged in the hub, as well as damage on a Lap 309 incident that forced him to pit on a caution late. The waning laps of the race seemed to take a toll on Kenseth, who radioed in, "I can't drive this car in traffic, I just can't without crashing." The winless driver is now one point out of the final transfer spot for the Championship Round. " See what happened to him late " Get more in-car audio with RaceView 26. Cole Whitt , No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing The Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate is quietly putting together a nice stretch to close out the season. The key to his performance this week? Spending the third-fewest amount of time on pit road for the race. " Get more pit road stats with RaceView 27. Marcos Ambrose , No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports As he closes out his full-time Sprint Cup career, Ambrose has had a string of finishes between 20th and 27th in eight of his past nine races. A late accident with Kasey Kahne on Lap 314 took a top-20 finish off the table, but the Tasmania native did finish on the lead lap. 28. Clint Bowyer , No. 15 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing Bowyer's run of two straight top-10 finishes came to a close with his Texas result. His accident on Lap 331 set up the first attempt at a G-W-C finish. And during the middle of the race, Bowyer seemed to have an issue with contact from Jamie McMurray , though nothing happened between those two after that. 29. Jeff Gordon , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports Don't be fooled by his finishing position -- Gordon had one of the best cars all day. He led 49 laps and would have won the race if not for a caution on Lap 332. Shortly after the Lap 335 restart, Keselowski made contact with Gordon resulting in a flat left rear tire and a spin for the four-time champion as Gordon yelled into the radio, "The (expletive) 2 car ran into us, that's what happened." After the race, Gordon added, "I'm going to beat the (expletive) out of the 2." Tensions boiled over post-race as Gordon confronted Keselowski and a scuffle ensued. Gordon is still on the right side of the Chase bubble, but only by one point. " See the on-track contact " See the scuffle " Hear their reactions 30. Michael McDowell , No. 95 Ford, Leavine Family Racing McDowell matched his spring result at Texas in close to every regard. In both races, he qualified 28th, finished 30th and got 14 points for his result. He also had some troubles on pit road in this race, getting hit with three pit road penalties. 31. JJ Yeley, No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing For the fourth time in five races, Yeley improved his finish from his starting position. During the race though, the Arizona native was interested in how the Cardinals were faring against the Cowboys. When told Arizona beat Dallas 28-17, he radioed in to his crew chief, "Can you go down to the 38 box and get my 20 bucks?" " For more in-car audio, get RaceView today 32. David Ragan , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports After his first top-10 of the season last weekend at Martinsville, Ragan was hoping to build on that run. Unfortunately for him and the No. 34 team, that didn't happen at Texas. 33. Reed Sorenson , No. 36 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing Sorenson matched his spring race performance and, for that matter, average finish of 32.5 in 13 starts at the 1.5-mile track. 34. David Gilliland , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports In the spring, Gilliland finished 22nd, but that would not be the case in this race. The veteran driver finished six laps off the pace. 35. Timmy Hill , No. 33 Chevrolet. Circle Sport Racing For the third time in four weeks, Hill's finishing position was better than where he started. His 35th-place result matched his second-best result this season. 36. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing In her first start with interim crew chief Daniel Knost, things did not go well for Patrick. First, she had to start at the rear of the field for a transmission change. Then, she had an unscheduled pit stop on Lap 37 after losing the handle in Turn 2. And then on Lap 250, she hit the wall as a tire went down. Not the start this pairing was hoping for. 37. Joey Gase , No. 32 Ford, Go FAS Racing In his first two Sprint Cup starts, Gase finished in 37th place. Where did he finish at Texas? 37th place. He is nothing if not consistent. 38. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports It was a tale of two races for Kahne. He ran well early, peaking with a second-place position on Lap 80. He was later involved in two accidents less than eight laps apart, however. 39. Trevor Bayne , No. 21 Ford, Wood Brothers Racing Bayne's involvement in a Lap 320 accident with Kahne ended his day. As he gets set to move into a full-time Cup ride with Roush Fenway Racing, Bayne's past five finishes with Wood Brothers have been 32nd or worse. 40. Brett Moffitt , No. 66 Toyota, Jay Robinson Racing For the third time in his six Sprint Cup Series starts, Moffitt finished 40th or worse. He hit the wall on Lap 296 and finished 58 laps back. 41. Josh Wise , No. 98 Chevrolet, Phil Parsons Racing For the second time in four weeks, Wise finished 41st. He hit the wall on Lap 42 and finished 85 laps back. 42. Alex Bowman , No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing Engine issues led to Bowman's sixth DNF of the season. The Arizona native will hope for a better run at his home track next weekend. 43. Landon Cassill , No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Racing A blown engine derailed Cassill's day after just 134 laps and snapped a run of four straight top-25 finishes. The finish was the worst of the season for Cassill. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Driver-by-driver news and notes from the final race of the Challenger Round MORE: Full race results " Updated series standings " Best Dover photos " Gallery of winners RELATED: Follow your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge for chance at $100,000 prize Editor's note: Drivers in italics are in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup 1. Jeff Gordon , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports. Gordon dominated the last quarter of the race, leading 94 of the final 96 laps for his fourth win of the season. Gordon was in good shape to advance heading into the final race of the Challenger Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, but the victory was an exclamation point after a disappointing finish at Loudon. Gordon shared the celebration with his team over the radio, exclaiming, "Woo hoo we won at Dover boys!" See how Gordon won at Dover . 2. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske. Keselowski looks like a man on a mission in the Chase. He led 78 laps in the AAA 400 and his second-place finish gives him an average finish of 3.3 through the first three races of the Chase. As has been the case this season, speed was not an issue for the No. 2 team as Keselowski was the fastest on restarts (151.888 mph) and the fastest early in a run (151.662 mph). See Keselowski's race highlights here . 3. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports. A steady but not spectacular run for the nine-time winner at Dover. For the first time since the spring race in 2007, Johnson did not lead a lap in a Dover race. If the No. 48 team wasn't so dominant at the Monster Mile that wouldn't be alarming. Still, the team did what it had to and more to advance. If the sleeping giant wakes up, look out. See Johnson's race highlights here. 4. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske. Last weekend's winner at Loudon already had his Contender Round ticket punched and he spent close to half the race outside the top 10. But "Sliced Bread" turned it on late, scoring his third straight top-five finish and his sixth straight top-10 at Dover. Despite not leading a lap, Logano seemed pleased with the effort, telling his team on the radio, "Good job battling all day." For more in-car audio, subscribe to RaceView today. 5. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing. Kenseth scored his 11th top-five finish of the season. In his seven-win season last year, he had 12 top-five finishes. Last year's championship runner-up spent the entire race in the top 15, something that only Johnson and Keselowski did otherwise, and spent the second-lowest amount of time on pit road. Get pit road times and more with RaceView. 6. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing. Larson has been on fire since the Chase began -- if only he were one of the 16 drivers in the field. The Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender had 37 quality passes, the second-most, according to loop data. In the three Chase races, Larson has an average finish of 3.7. Is there any doubt that his first Sprint Cup win is coming very soon? 7. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing. At what is practically the New Jersey-born driver's home track, Truex posted his best finish in 16 races, which was coincidently a sixth-place finish in the spring race at Dover. Truex had the most green-flag passes in the race with 62, according to loop data. 8. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing. Newman's steady hand helped him advance to the Contender Round of the Chase. He had the fourth-most green-flag passes (58), according to loop data. The eighth-place result was Newman's second such result at Dover in his past three races there. 9. Clint Bowyer , No. 15 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing. Bowyer earned his first top-10 finish since Richmond and extended his streak of top-10 finishes at the Monster Mile to eight straight races. 10. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing. Remember when everyone was worried that "Rowdy" wouldn't even make it out of the Challenger Round? Three top-10 finishes in the opening round of the Chase have proven that fear to be false. Busch was the third-fastest car early in a run and has looked solid in the Chase. 11. Carl Edwards , No. 99 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing. For a brief time, it looked like "Concrete Carl" may not make it out of the Challenger Round as he was running as far back as 23rd on Lap 80. But the veteran stayed after it and worked his way up thanks to making 33 quality passes, the sixth-most in the race, according to loop data. 12. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing. Hamlin entered the race on the outside looking in of advancing to the Contender Round. But a strong starting spot, the least amount of time on pit road and a solid run at Dover moved him through. But one driver had some concerns about Hamlin's car as Gordon radioed to his team, "11 has his skirt flared out so much he's going to cut someone's tire." There were no post-race inspection issues with the No. 11 team. To hear more in-car audio, subscribe to RaceView today. 13. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing. The polesitter led a race-high 223 laps and looked downright dominant. There were concerns about a broken left front shock, but it was a left front tire issue that derailed the No. 4 team's day. "Something had to cut that tire don't you think?" Harvick asked over the radio. Turned out to be a left front valve stem was knocked out. The team recovered well for a 13th-place finish, but this was the third time in five races that Harvick led triple-digit laps and had no win to show for it. See what happened to Harvick at Dover. 14. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing. At a track where he has three career wins, "Smoke" scored his best finish since a seventh-place result at Loudon more than two months ago. He spent all but eight laps in the top 15. Perhaps this is the start of a strong 2014 finish to set up a solid 2015 campaign. 15. Brian Vickers , No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing. Vickers was eighth in the standings when engine trouble derailed his strong start to the season at Dover in the spring. He ran well here Sunday, scoring his fourth top-15 finish in the past five races. 16. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing. Menard has struggled to regain the form that saw him roll off four top-10 finishes in five races this spring into summer. The finish may look respectable but Menard ran just four laps in the top 15. 17. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports. For the fifth time in six races, Junior finished outside the top 10. In fact, Dale Jr. spent only 40 laps in the top 10 and was never much of a threat to win. While the team moves on to the Contender Round, the results need to improve for a championship run. 18. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing. "The Outlaw's" 500th career Sprint Cup Series start was supposed to be a joyous occasion but it was not as he did not advance to the Contender Round. Busch was battling a tight car most of the race and that affected his position as he went from 12th on Lap 300 to 18th at the finish. Busch took the blame, telling his team over the radio after the race, "It's all my fault. Put that all on the driver. It's all my fault." Hear what Busch had to say after the race. 19. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing. This was a markedly better result for the second-year driver than the spring race when a crash ended his day early. Stenhouse recorded the second-most green-flag passes (59), according to loop data. 20. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports. Kahne battled his butt off to advance to the Contender Round. An unscheduled pit stop for a loose left rear tire on Lap 162 put Kahne two laps down. A green-flag stop on Lap 241 put him four laps down. Yet, at the end of the day, Kahne managed to be just one lap down and advanced in the Chase. Perhaps it was the team's ability to navigate traffic as Kahne was the seventh-fastest car in traffic (145.619 mph). Watch as Kahne talks about making the next round. 21. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing. Biffle and the No. 16 team's performance at Dover was eerily similar to the team's performance in the first two Chase races. The team struggled to find speed, had a bad starting spot and battled to stay on the lead lap. Those trends can lead to early exit in the Chase, like they did for Biffle this year. 22. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing. McMurray carried plenty of momentum into the race with four top-10 finishes in his previous five starts. However, the veteran driver struggled, logging the least amount of laps in the top 15 (87) for a driver that started in the top 10. 23. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing. Allmendinger saw his Chase come to an end at a track that was considered to be one of his best in the Chase. The Watkins Glen winner was frustrated with his car all day long, telling his team over the radio on Lap 236, "if we're going to be competitive dude, you have to find me some grip. I'm getting sick in the car this thing is shaking so bad." He later added on Lap 352, "Evil man! I'm tired of driving evil cars!" He ultimately finished two points behind Kahne for the final Contender Round spot. For more in-car audio with drivers unplugged, subscribe to RaceView today . 24. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing. Dillon qualified well and started 10th, but couldn't transfer that success over to the race. Just like in the spring race, the driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet finished two laps down. 25. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing. Patrick's four-race streak of top-20 finishes came to an end Sunday. Her finish was right at her career average finish of 25.8 at the Monster Mile. 26. Marcos Ambrose , No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports. The finish may not have been what he wanted, but Ambrose got a shoutout from Dover International Speedway president Denis McGlynn in the driver's meeting. The RPM driver recorded the fifth-most green flag passes (57), according to loop data. 27. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing. For the third straight race, Mears gradually improved on his starting position. During that stretch, he has an average finish of 25th. 28. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports. Almirola's first Chase run came to an end with a disappointing run at Dover. The No. 43 team struggled to find a rhythm at this 1-mile track and the result was Almirola's worst career finish at Dover in six starts. Hear what Almirola said after the race. 29. Justin Allgaier , No. 51 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports. The rookie seems to be having an up-and-down second half of 2014. After earning three top-20 results in four races toward the end of the summer, he has since scored one top-20 finish in the five races since. 30. Cole Whitt , No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing. The rookie sure loves the 30th position. This was his fifth such result in six races. 31. David Ragan , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports. For the second time in three weeks, Ragan finished in 31st. This finish came a week after a 42nd-place result at Loudon. 32. Reed Sorenson , No. 36 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing. Sorenson had his worse finish in nine races in the AAA 400 . He ran better in the spring race at Dover, finishing 24th. 33. David Gilliland , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports. For the second time in three races, Gilliland finished outside the top 30. This comes on the heels of a stretch where he finished inside the top 30 in the six previous races. 34. Alex Bowman , No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing. Bowman may have finished 34th, but the rookie showed improvement the second time around at the Monster Mile. He finished 40th at Dover in the spring. 35. Landon Cassill , No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Racing. On the bright side, Cassill improve on his starting position to the finish for the seventh time in eight races. The downside: this was his worst finish in that stretch. 36. Mike Bliss , No. 37 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing. Bliss' finish at Dover was the second-best finish he has had in six Sprint Cup starts this season and marked the second time this season he was running at the finish. 37. David Stremme , No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport Racing. Stremme's 37th-place finish at Dover was right on par with his average finish for the season, 36.5. 38. Travis Kvapil , No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing. Kvapil was hit a speeding penalty entering pit road on Lap 65. His 38th-place finish was his second finish in that spot in three races. 39. J.J. Yeley , No. 32 Ford, GO Fas Racing. Yeley started exactly where he finished at Dover, 39th. He was 13 laps down at the finish. 40. Mike Wallace , No. 66 Toyota, Jay Robinson Racing. Making a Sprint Cup Series start for the second straight week, Wallace finished 16 laps down for the No. 66 team's eighth finish of 40th or worse this season. 41. Michael Annett , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing. For the fifth time in seven races, the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender finished 37th or worse. An accident left Annett 39 laps down. 42. Josh Wise , No. 98 Chevrolet, Phil Parsons Racing. Wise finished 203 laps down due to an issue with his suspension for his worst finish since the Las Vegas race in March. 43. Timmy Hill , No. 44 Chevrolet, Xxxtreme Motorsport. Making his seventh Sprint Cup start of the season, Hill retired from the race just 11 laps in with a vibration issue. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
See where each driver finished the Eliminator Round opener and why RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota Editor's note: Drivers in italics are in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup 1. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports Well, as always, timing is everything. Dale Earnhardt Jr . won at Martinsville for the first time in his career, a win that would've propelled him to the Championship Round at Homestead had he not been eliminated last week at Talladega. Still, he was plenty excited. "I definitely polished off the jerky too early," he said over the radio. "Cold beer, a whole (expletive) keg would be awesome. I could do a keg stand right now." Get more driver audio with RaceView 2. Jeff Gordon , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports Jeff Gordon incurred a speeding penalty ("I knew it. Big mistake on my part. My bad guys.") when he was caught going too fast on pit road on Lap 192. Considering he had to overcome this severe disadvantage and beefs with Carl Edwards (who checked up in front of him, damaging the nose of the No. 24) and Ryan Newman ("What's up with that 31 getting into me?"), it's incredible that he finished runner-up to his teammate. Get more driver audio with RaceView 3. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing Speaking of incredible, Ryan Newman also had to overcome a speeding penalty at the same time as Gordon, rebounding for a third-place finish. Newman's consistent charge through this Chase has been remarkable. He keeps inching closer to that elusive first win of 2014 and it just feels like at some point he'll break through. 4. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing Martinsville proved successful for "Smoke" once again, as the driver was in contention for the win late for the first time since his return from a three-race absence. More importantly, he built momentum to carry into the end of the season and beyond, leading multiple laps in consecutive races for the first time this season. 5. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske It wasn't the round-opening race that Joey Logano enjoyed for the start of the Contender Round -- i.e. his win at Kansas -- but his fifth-place finish was enough to keep his head above water and in good standing for advancement to the Championship Round. As we've been seeing more and more lately, the No. 22 was out front for 60 laps and it wouldn't be a shock to see him win next week at 1.5-mile Texas, the type of track Team Penske has dominated this year. 6. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing While his mix-up with fellow Chase driver Kevin Harvick left his competitor's No. 4 Chevrolet with heavy damage, Matt Kenseth was able to recover from the incident well enough to nearly muster a top-five finish. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver even absorbed an intentional hit from the SHR driver: "(Harvick) tried to knock our radiator off. Check the nose for any damage." Get more driver audio with RaceView 7. Clint Bowyer , No. 15 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing Ladies and gentlemen, we have a Clint Bowyer sighting. Having led just one -- one! -- lap since he led all of three at Indianapolis in July, Bowyer looked like his old self on Sunday, leading 33 laps on his way to a seventh-place finish. Get more driver data with RaceView. 8. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing At times, it looked like Denny Hamlin and the No. 11 car were the combo to beat -- he led 68 laps -- and that the Joe Gibbs Racing driver was back to honing his Martinsville prowess. An eighth-place finish is still good, especially considering an early pit stop flub where the car was too close to pit wall and the temporary jack man couldn't get the handle down all the way nearly derailed him, but Hamlin still sits on the wrong side of the Chase bubble. 9. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing A solid top-10 finish for AJ Allmendinger and crew, which should go a long way toward solidifying another of the JTG Daugherty Racing driver's strong suits as they turn their focus toward 2015. He may be out of the Chase, but this team won't forget that they made it via the Watkins Glen win. If Dinger has road courses and short tracks nailed down, look out. 10. David Ragan , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports If you were told that in two races at Talladega and Martinsville, David Ragan would've finished 30th and 10th, there's no way you'd think the top-10 came at the short track. Alas, that's the case, as the Front Row Motorsports driver recovered from a spin on Lap 207 for his best finish of the season. 11. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing Early in the race, Kyle Busch struggled with some steering issues into the turns, telling his team, 'Won’t turn. Won’t leave," later asking crew chief Dave Rogers to free up the car. Whatever changes the No. 18 team made must've worked, as Busch worked his way through the field for a near top-10 finish. Get more driver audio with RaceView 12. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing Austin Dillon was caught speeding on pit road on Lap 391, a penalty that normally would've derailed the rookie and saddled him with a poor finish. The RCR driver rallied, however, to improve upon his spring Martinsville finish of 15th. 13. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing Not much is expected of Greg Biffle when the veteran driver hits the Virginia short track -- after all, he's never finished in the top five and has just five top-10s in 24 starts. That said, he's been much better at Martinsville lately, averaging a finish of 12.0 since the start of 2012, so his 13th-place finish is right in line with his recent results. 14. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing Paul Menard has finished inside the top 10 at Martinsville once in his career, placing exactly 10th this spring. In that race, he moved up 11 positions from where he started. In Sunday's contest, he started 14th and finished there, too. 15. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was involved in a late-race mix-up, but recovered enough for a 15th-place finish. Considering he missed last week's race at Talladega completely, a mid-teens finish has to be considered a success for the second-year driver. 16. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing For a good portion of the race, it sure looked like Jamie McMurray was going to play the part of Chase spoiler -- a role that instead was filled by Dale Jr. -- as he led 84 laps from the pole. In this year's postseason, McMurray has shown serious speed and a competitive nature that wasn't seen much in the regular season, so he could be a guy to watch as a 2015 Chase sleeper. 17. Justin Allgaier , No. 51 HScott Motorsports Chevrolet Much like Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., Justin Allgaier missed the Talladega race because of a qualifying gaffe, so his 17th-place finish is a solid return to the track for the No. 51 driver. Plus, he improved upon his starting and finishing position from the spring race. 18. Cole Whitt , No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing Partly due to the overwhelming success of Kyle Larson and the hype around Austin Dillon , Cole Whitt hasn't gotten the attention he deserves in 2014. The rookie has shown marked improvement over the course of the season and finished inside the top 20 for consecutive races for the first time this season via his 18th-place Martinsville result. 19. Landon Cassill , No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Racing While it's unlikely another one of his fans will get a tattoo to commemorate his 19th-place Martinsville finish like one did after his top-five at Talladega, Landon Cassill matched his career-best "Paperclip" finish in nine races. 20. Carl Edwards , No. 99 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing Given how many of the remaining Chase drivers finished inside the top 10, Carl Edwards ' 20th-place finish could've been a lot worse had Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick not imploded and scored 31st and 33rd-place finishes, respectively. The Roush Fenway Racing driver battled grip and water temperature issues all day and ended up being involved in Keselowski's wreck on Lap 436, but remains in the Chase hunt because of his slight recovery. 21. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports Proof that the new Chase format is doing its job: Aric Almirola , who made the Chase via his July Daytona win and was knocked out almost immediately when he blew an engine in the opener at Chicago, has averaged a finish of 26.9 in the seven postseason races thus far. This team made plenty of improvements this year, but it's clear they aren't ready for the big stage yet. 22. David Gilliland , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports With no top-10s under his belt in 2014 and only eight to his name in his career, it'd be irresponsible to expect one to come at Martinsville for the veteran driver, given that his career average finish is 29.6. Still, a 22nd-place result is better than he's been, and he improved on his spring finish by four spots. 23. Marcos Ambrose , No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports Marcos Ambrose had a quiet race until he and Kyle Larson got into each other with 11 laps to go, sending both drivers sideways into the wall. It's possible that Larson was protecting his teammate, Jamie McMurray , as the No. 9 and No. 1 were beating and banging mere seconds before this happened, but it isn't the kind of race a driver bowing out of the sport in three weeks was looking to have. 24. Michael Annett , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing There was a five-race stretch in the middle of the season in which Michael Annett seemed to be closer to "getting it", when he averaged a finish of 22.0. It was respectable for a rookie, but he hasn't shown much since then. Perhaps his 24th-place showing at Martinsville will kick off a strong finish to his 2014 campaign. 25. Josh Wise , No. 98 Chevrolet, Phil Parsons Racing Josh Wise has run more laps at Martinsville -- 2,103 -- than any other track on the circuit, and it shows. The 2014 All-Star has steadily improved his finishing position at the short track since his 2012 debut there, culminating in Sunday's top-25. 26. Mike Wallace , No. 49 Toyota, Jay Robinson Racing Mike Wallace ran back-to-back races for just the second time this season and it resulted in his best race of the year. After starting dead last, Wallace marched through the field for his best cup finish since 2007. 27. Brian Vickers , No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing Brian Vickers had an entertaining race. He traded shots back and forth with Kasey Kahne , at times blaming his car ("The car just went straight when I got down to (Turn) 1. Be sure and check that splitter. Something has to be wrong.) but then later wanting to take part in the melee, saying "Alright, we owe him another. We can do this all day long." Get more driver audio with RaceView 28. Kyle Fowler , No. 32 GO FAS Racing Ford For a driver making his Sprint Cup Series debut, Martinsville is no easy task. It showed on Lap 75, when the 22-year-old spun and drew a caution. Still, he battled hard all day to recover for a respectable 28th-place showing. 29. Alex Bowman , No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing Alex Bowman had a really difficult race from the get-go. He spun on Lap 5, making contact with Aric Almirola and later crunched his hood on Lap 207 when traffic in front of him stopped abruptly. To make matters worse, he couldn't even unwind the way he wanted to, tweeting, "So to top today off they're holding the driver owner lot for an hour. Which means missing the walking dead tonight." 30. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing It's clear that Kyle Larson will need to make one of his priorities over the offseason focusing on short track racing, because Martinsville always seems to eat up the otherwise super-talented rookie. He was involved in a bad wreck with 11 to go after he tangled with Marcos Ambrose and has yet to finish better than 27th in three races. 31. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske Brad Keselowksi must like racing as the Chase underdog, because he didn't do himself any favors at Martinsville. His No. 2 started running hot on Lap 95, then he was caught speeding on Lap 163, and finally lost an axel on Lap 436, causing the biggest wreck of the day. At one point, team owner Roger Penske chimed in, "Lot of time. You'll be fine." He wasn't. 32. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports It's a good thing for the No. 48 team that they were eliminated last week at Talladega, because otherwise they'd be in a serious hole right now. Johnson's race was bad the whole way through, saying in the early going, "Weird vibration in the front. Feels like maybe some rubber on the tire that won't come off. … Might be a loose left-front. Getting worse." He later ran into Casey Mears , prompting a testy crew chief Chad Knaus to say "Try not to run into anything else.” The HMS ride was later leaking oil and limped to the garage for a poor finish. Get more driver audio with RaceView 33. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing Luckily for Kevin Harvick , he's magnificent at Phoenix and should contend for the win there. For now, Martinsville presented a nightmare race for the SHR driver, getting into a mess with Matt Kenseth that sent him to the garage with damage and a faulty oil cooler and radiator. He came back out around Lap 268, but it was too late. 34. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing At times, Danica Patrick looked to be putting together a second-consecutive competitive race, but later traded shots with a feisty Martin Truex Jr . that resulted in her No. 10 Chevy wrecked beyond repair. Her thoughts? "That 78 (expletive) took me out. If he thinks there's a problem, he better look at what he did first." Get more driver audio with RaceView 35. Reed Sorenson , No. 36 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing Reed Sorenson was another guy who was happy to see the checkered flag, since it signaled that his horrible day was over. The TBR driver spun in Turn 2 on Lap 188 with a blown tire and later spun again and smashed the wall on Lap 386. 36. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing In his final race with crew chief Daniel Knost, Kurt Busch certainly had a fast car, but his engine caught on fire late in the race while in seventh place. It ended a day in which they already had to overcome a tire issue, "The right rear is already kicking out on us." 37. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing Casey Mears was the unlucky meat of a Brad Keselowski and Kasey Kahne sandwich, getting squashed between the two on the Lap 436 wreck. After he was released from the infield care center, he lamented the fact that he couldn't be back on the track, because he was having a good time. 38. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing It's tough to say exactly why Martin Truex Jr . and Danica Patrick were so mad at each other; if it all stemmed from this race (which it might've) or if there's history there. Either way, the pair traded shots until the No. 78 was eventually wrecked for good in Keselowski's big wreck on Lap 436. 39. J.J. Yeley, No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing Yeley has only run 15 Sprint Cup Series races in 2014 and none of them has been particularly good, including Martinsville. He's yet to finish higher than 29th this season, with only three races to go. 40. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports Of course, he was involved in the late wreck on Lap 436 like plenty others, but it was his drama with Brian Vickers that was the most entertaining part of Kahne's race. Both drivers knew what was going on, with Kahne's crew chief Kenny Francis saying "I'd say the ball is in his court now," after Kahne knocked the No. 55. 41. Travis Kvapil , No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport Racing Travis Kvapil struggled on Sunday, getting into the wall on Lap 16 after contact from Josh Wise . He later said on Twitter, "Tough day for the @Circle_Sport 33. Got turned around early, then it went downhill from there. Car wasn't 2 bad. Engine broke to end our day." 42. Timmy Hill , No. 44, Team XTREME Racing Cheverolet Timmy Hill had one of the shortest races of any driver, going over the wall on Lap 37 with smoke billowing from his engine. His take: "Out early today. Had a small fire under the hood. Track staff did a good job putting the fire out. Will take the car back & diagnose at shop." 43. Clay Rogers , No. 93 BK Racing Toyota And finally, Clay Rogers made just his second career Sprint Cup Series start, finishing 43rd again after he did so at Loudon a few weeks back. 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