The Bank of America 500 raced under the lights at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend and fans from all over attended to see their favorite drivers in action.
It was a night for Hendrick domination. Jeff Gordon started on the pole and Kasey Kahne and Jimmie Johnson seemed to have the best cars on the track all night long. Even Dale Earnhardt Jr. got up front to lead some laps before debris on the grille caused him to drop back after just a few laps.
Johnson was leading with just a handful of laps to go when a late race debris caution caused the field to pit, costing him the lead. A bad restart dropped him to seventh. He rallied back to finish forth.
“Honestly I don’t know what was seen or where it was,” Johnson said after the race “… So I just have to watch myself, watch the video and see for myself.”
At the end of the night, Johnson had led 130 of the 334 lap race.
With just a handful of cautions for blown engines and debris, the 500 mile race was relatively uneventful. The final laps of the race after the restart seemed to be the most exciting, putting fans at the edge of their seats.
On the final restart, Kahne sat on the front row with teammate Gordon and Johnson started third. Johnson slid back and Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski took advantage and slid by. Keselowski kept digging and chased down Kahne for the lead. They battled back and forth for multiple laps, exchanging the lead and racing hard. With just a few to go, Keselowski took the lead and pulled away, getting his first win of the season.
His first win since the fall Dover race last season, Keselowski was the first non-Chase driver to win a race since Kahne in 2011.
At the end of the night, Hendrick Motorsports let all but 21 of the 334 laps.
Jimmie Johnson -4
Kevin Harvick -29
Jeff Gordon -36
Kyle Busch -37
Greg Biffle -58
Kurt Busch -59
Clint Bowyer -63
Dale Earnhardt Jr. -66
Carl Edwards -67
Joey Logano -75
Ryan Newman -78
Kasey Kahne -81