Battle didn’t end with checkered flag
• If NASCAR wanted drama, it certainly got it in Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. With spots in the Chase on the line and the laps winding down, the on-track incidents in the race’s final laps spilled onto pit road with confrontations between Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin and then Keselowski and Matt Kenseth. Kenseth, never known as hot head, was incensed with Keselowski for running into his car on pit road after the race and Kenseth had already unbuckled his seatbelts. There are likely to be some NASCAR ramifications early this week, but it’s unlikely anything to serious will come of it. Race winner Kevin Harvick was asked if he thought NASCAR would do anything, his reply: “No way. They’re loving it!”
• Flying under the radar and amassing his best performance of his career in the Chase is Kyle Busch. In the first five Chase races, he hasn’t started worse than seventh and hasn’t finished worse than 10th. The only thing he hasn’t done is win, but he certainly seems to be moving in that direction.
• Kenseth, Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are the four drivers in danger of being eliminated from title contention after next weekend’s race at Talladega, Ala. That’s three former champions and the sport’s most popular driver. Ouch.
How the remaining Chase drivers fared
Logano was mired back in midpack most of the race then rallied to finish fourth. Already locked into Round 3 of the Chase, he never relented in his quest to get to the front.
Quietly amassing his best performance in his seventh Chase.
He seems as if he should have far more than three wins this season but Saturday night’s could turn out to be the most important toward winning his first series championship.
Got caught up in a wreck with Danica Patrick and Logano but still managed to finish seventh and remains in good position to advance to Round 3.
May not have the speed he wants, but staying out of trouble is allowing Edwards to earn respectable finishes and maintain a solid position in the points.
Gordon appeared to be a threat to win early then seemed to fall out of contention before rallying to finish second.
Used pit strategy to briefly take the lead and came away with a ninth-place finish.
Kahne struggled much of the race but rallied to finish 10th. He will be in a tough battle at Talladega to stave off elimination.
Kenseth had more impact after the race than he appeared to in the race. An angry Kenseth physically confronted Keselowski in the garage after an incident on pit road afer the race.
Not going to win NASCAR’s most popular driver award in the garage or out these days.
There seemed to be a lot of tension between Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus during the race. Pitting for four tires on the final caution did Johnson no favors, and he finished 17th.
Earnhardt seemed like he would contend for the win until he broke the shifter in his car. The repairs left him one lap down for much of the rest of the race.
Chase drivers already eliminated
5 key moments