Visiting a short track for the second time in three weeks, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series provided the season’s sixth different winner in as many races. Kurt Busch was able to recover from an early pit road incident with Brad Keselowski to pass Jimmie Johnson with under 20 to go for the race lead and the win. Tempers flared between Keselowski and Busch, former Penske Racing teammates, after contact on pit road destroyed Keselowski’s front suspension. Keselowski felt the 2004 series champion hadn’t done enough to avoid the contact and proceeded to harass Busch with his damaged car for a lap before he returned to the garage.
Last week’s winner at Auto Club, Kyle Busch, started from pole and led the opening 16 laps before eventually fading to a 14th place finish. Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammates faced mixed results as well, with Matt Kenseth finishing in 6th and Denny Hamlin struggling to a 19th place finish. Hamlin returned to the seat a week after a piece of metal in his eye sat him out for the Auto Club 400 and had a dismal day by his own standards at a track that he has had four prior wins at. Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. looked to be in prime positions to take the win late before Kurt Busch’s late charge back through the field, however the Hendrick duo still came home with second and third, respectively. Joey Logano had another strong run to come home in the fourth spot, his third fourth-place of the season. Rounding out the top five was Marcos Ambrose, as the native Australian took his second top five on a short track this season. Ambrose finished fifth at Bristol two weeks ago.