SPEAKING: “I get upset about the luck because you can’t control it, but at the same time it’s what makes our sport exciting and unpredictable. Sometimes you just don’t understand why it goes the way it does,” Johnson said.
DRIVER: Kyle Busch
TEAM: Hendrick Motorsports
CAR: No. 5 Kellogg’s Chevrolet
CHASE POINTS: Ninth, -233
POSITION CHANGE: Plus 1
WHAT HAPPENED: Busch led 64 laps, but was caught speeding on pit road and sent to the back of the field. He made it up when fuel mileage cycled through at the end of the race and he finished seventh. He needs to pick it up at Talladega, where he has never finished higher than 32nd in his previous three starts.
SPEAKING: “Our restrictor-plate program has really picked up here recently — this year especially. We’ve been able to run strong. At Talladega, I think we got wrecked there on lap 8 after qualifying well. So we’ll just have to see,” Busch said.
DRIVER: Kasey Kahne
TEAM: Evernham Motorsports
CAR: No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge
CHASE POINTS: 10th, -273
POSITION CHANGE: Minus 1
WHAT HAPPENED: Kahne was headed toward a top 10 when he ran out of gas and lost three laps. He also spun entering pit road for his gas — all leading to his 33rd place finish. The outlook for salvaging his Chase doesn’t look good — three of Kahne’s five Talladega finishes were outside the top 25.
SPEAKING: “Things change. You look at the points and there’s definitely a chance. Jimmie Johnson came from a bunch of points down in ’04 to just about win the championship. It’s something that can be done. It’s going to be tough to be done, but it’s possible if all the teams have hard luck,” Kahne said.