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By then, Kyle Busch had moved back into second, the same spot he was before a right front tire went down and put into in the outside wall on lap 57 to bring out a caution. Busch, who won the spring race in Texas, finished 13th.
When Busch went into the wall, he was between Johnson and Kenseth, who went onto pit road 1-2. The top Chase contenders didn't exit that way.
While Johnson had a quick stop, he was second out behind polesitter Carl Edwards, who had the stall closest to the scoring line. Kenseth has an issue on his stop that dropped him to sixth.
Edwards, who had been the only three-time Cup winner at Texas, led six times for 38 times. But Edwards finished only 187 laps before an engine failure ended his day.
Four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon, the other Hendrick driver, was in contention for another championship after his win a week earlier at Martinsville moved him up to a season-high third in points.
But on Lap 74, the front left tire on the No. 24 Chevrolet blew, sending Gordon high and hard into the wall between the first and second turns. His returned to the race after repairs and finished in 38th place, 187 laps off the pace. He dropped to sixth the standings, 67 points back.
"I just know that the left front went down as I was going down the front straightaway. I felt it before I got there, and I just couldn't get it slowed down enough," Gordon said. "I don't know; the wind was so strong that the car was doing funky things down the straightaways. I don't know if that was a slow leak, or if it just went all of a sudden. Our car just didn't take off very good, but boy was it strong on the long runs."
|Real Salt Lake||2|
|(7) Florida State||74||FINAL|
|(3) South Carolina||80|
|(2) Notre Dame||77|