August 22 – – After Juan Pablo Montoya wrecked Jimmie Johnson at Bristol Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch was hardly challenged en route to his third win of the season and 19th of his career. Jeff Gordon was never a factor for the lead and battled handling issues for most of the night before finishing 11th.
Gordon started 26th and gained three spots by lap 5. His progress slowed while battling a loose handling condition. On lap 42, he took over 21st from Greg Biffle. The first caution waved on lap 56 after David Gilliland made contact with the wall. Pit stops followed with Gordon opting for a chassis adjustment. He restarted in 21st on lap 63 and made his way up to 17th within seven laps. By the 100 lap mark, Gordon advanced to 15th place. The second caution came on lap 126 when David Ragan spun and backed into the wall. After a pit stop, Gordon moved into the top-10 on lap 134 with a pass on Biffle. Two laps later, the caution waved for Regan Smith’s wall contact. Gordon took 8th from Matt Kenseth on lap 160 before a loose handling condition pushed him back to 9th on lap 180. The next caution came on lap 193 when Scott Speed cut a tire.
Gordon gained three spots shortly after the restart and ran 6th on lap 208. However, handling issues returned and Gordon ran 10th when Bobby Labonte hit the wall to bring out the caution on lap 254. He came to pit road for chassis adjustments and restarted in 15th place. The complexion of the race changed on the restart when Juan Pablo Montoya turned Jimmie Johnson on the straightaway. Johnson, who led more than 150 laps, spun and sustained damage to the front and left side of the car. Johnson went to the garage for repairs. Gordon moved back into the top-10 on lap 283, and took 8th from Dale Earnhardt Jr on lap 349. On lap 392, Gordon moved into the top-5 for the first time with a pass on Montoya. Gordon stayed out to lead a lap during a sequence of green flag pit stops. He came to pit road on lap 403 for tires. A caution flag on lap 408 resulted in just 11 cars remaining on the lead lap. Gordon came to the restart in 6th on lap 414. However, he slipped back on the low line and ran 11th on lap 428. He briefly entered the top-10 before fading back to 11th at the finish. It was the fifth consecutive race where Gordon failed to post a top-5 finish. However, the finish allowed him to officially clinch a spot in the Chase for the Championship.
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