With 47 laps left, Carl Edwards passed Denny Hamlin to take a lead he’d never relinquish at Phoenix.
Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin squared off in a three-lap shootout at the end of the race that had the fans at home and in the stands at Texas on their feet.
Juan Pablo Montoya pushed Clint Bowyer past Kevin Harvick just as the caution lights illuminated at Talladega, freezing the field on the last lap of the race.
After the two of them were running nose-to-tail, then side-by-side for a dozen laps at Martinsville, Denny Hamlin finally passed Kevin Harvick for the lead on lap 471.
Tony Stewart ran out of gas coming to the white flag at New Hampshire, handing the race lead and win back to Clint Bowyer, who had dominated the first two-thirds of the event.
Kyle Busch made a late-race surge after teammate Denny Hamlin, but licked all the red off his M&M’s candy (and burned all the good out of his Goodyears) in a determined charge at Richmond that ultimately fell short.
Tony Stewart’s crew helped him gain three spots on pit road in the crucial final stop of the night, allowing him to join Carl Edwards on the front row for the restart. From there, Stewart finally managed to keep his tires from spinning coming up to speed, easily pulling out ahead of Edwards by more than a second to score his long-awaited first victory of 2010 in the Emory Healthcare 500.
It’s rare a race is won entering pit road, but Kyle Busch aggressively pushed the limit, passing leader Jamie McMurray as the two entered the Bristol pits for the final sequence of stops. The No. 18 team got Busch out well ahead of the No. 1 car and from there Kyle was off to the house.
Kevin Harvick pushed Denny Hamlin around Tony Stewart after the final restart, then on lap 189 passed the No. 11 car and drove off into the Michigan sunset.
Juan Pablo Montoya dominated at Watkins Glen, with Marcos Ambrose doing his best to keep the Colombian native honest. But on the restarts, Ambrose was nowhere near as fast or flawless as JPM, and that ultimately made the difference.