Originally posted on The Pit Stop  |  Last updated 10/12/13
The Sprint Cup drivers were back to Charlotte for the final night race of the season with Jeff Gordon on the poll for the 500 mile event. "Excited to be on this poll," said Jeff Gordon. Jimmie Johnson stated that his car was strong in practice. Jeff Gordon started the race out leading laps as Jimmie Johnson started to get hot.  He got up to second and started to chase down Jeff for the race lead.  The caution came out on alp 25 as J.J. Yeley smacked the wall. Leaders pitted and tire strategy started early with Kasey Kahne winning the race off pit road.  At the drop of the green flag Dale Earnhardt Jr. got the best of the restart and the race lead.  Dale wound up getting some trash on his grill.  Teammate Kasey Kahne was in second place at the time was allowed to go ahead of him on lap 44 in an attempt to get rid of the trash on his grill, but it did not work at all. At lap 69 the start of green flap pit stops started.  Jimmie Johnson did lead a lap during this time and after the pit stops were over Kasey Kahne was back in the race lead.  The caution finally came out on lap 83 as Mark Martin and his engine went 100% away on him.  The caution brought in some of the cars on the lead lap down pit road for service and Brad Keselwoski took a jack with him.  Kasey Kahne and seven other cars though stayed out and did not pit. When the race restarted Dale Earnhardt Jr. was able to get the race lead again.  Then at lap 96 Kasey was back in the race lead.  The green flag racing continued long enough at lap 126 it was pit stop time for cars that did not pit under the last caution, but it brought all cars down pit down pit road for service.  Kasey Kahne pits at lap 129 putting Ryan Newman in the race lead.  After they ended Kasey Kahne was back in the race lead. The green flag racing continued until the caution flag finally came for debris on lap 175.  This caution brought in all the leaders and Kasey Kahne kept the lead of the race.  Jimmie Johnson got the best of the restart and the race lead.  The green flag racing lasted so long that around lap 229 it was green flag pit stop time.  After the pit stops were over Jimmie Johnson was back in the race lead. The green flag laps were going down at a fast pace and with 70 laps left Jimmie Johnson was maintaining a 3 second plus lead over Kasey Kahne.   With 60 laps left Kevin Havick came down for service.  Two more laps go by and Kurt Busch made his green flag pit stop.  Jimmie Johnson finally pitted with 51 laps left.   He was still able to keep the race lead after he finished his pit stop.  With less than 30 laps left Jimmie left only 10 cars on the lead lap. With 27 laps left the debris caution finally came out.  The leaders pitted and Kasey Kahne wins the race off pit road as he takes only two tires.  The race restarts with 23 laps left and Kasey Kahne kept the race lead. With 18 laps left Brad Keselowski got the second place spot and was chasing down Kasey for the race lead.  Three laps go by and Brad was right behind Kasey for the race lead.  With 12 laps left Brad had the race lead briefly and then Kasey took it back. Three more laps got by and Brad Keselowski had the race lead.  The caution did not happen and he finally won his first race of the season. "He ran me hard," said Brad Keselwoski. "I just couldn't get it to turn," said Matt Kesneth. "Wish we could have won," said Kasey Kahne. "Fantastic performance," said Jeff Gordon.
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