Jimmie Johnson dominated the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway, and pulled away from Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon for the victory, and assumed the points lead by 12 points over teammate Mark Martin.
Top 5: Johnson, Gordon, Juan Montoya, Martin, and Tony Stewart.
Carl Edwards, David Ragan, Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer, and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top 10.
Notables: Matt Kenseth (13th), Ryan Newman (15th), Greg Biffle (20th), Kyle Busch (David Gilliland) (24th), Dale Earnhardt Jr (25th), Brian Vickers (29th), Jeff Burton (30th), Kasey Kahne (34th), and Denny Hamlin (37th).
On a restart, Denny Hamlin was leading in the outside lane, and began pulling away from Juan Montoya and Jimmie Johnson, who were hooked up to his inside. Hamlin cut down to block them, but he wasn’t clear. He clipped Montoya’s right front and spun into the inside retaining wall, ending his chances of a good finish.
In the closing laps, Kurt Busch got loose and got into the wall. As he corrected, he bumped Kasey Kahne, sending Kahne spinning across the track and through the frontstretch grass. Kahne also collect Greg Biffle in the crash. All were able to continue, but Kahne suffered heavy damage.
A few laps later, Elliott Sadler got into the back of Dale Earnhardt Jr, sending him spinning into Marcos Ambrose. The contact triggered a multi-car crash that forced NASCAR to throw the red flag. Kahne was collected in the crash and sustained heavy damage, ending his day.
Kyle Busch, who was battling the flu and strep throat all weekend, had to climb out of the gar during the first caution. David Gilliland, who started the race in TRG Motorsports’ No. 71, parked that car and got into Busch’s car. He finished 24th, one lap down.