How did the Chasers do at Texas? Get driver-by-driver analysis, what they are saying, and a forecast for next week's race with Charting the Chasers.
Brian Vickers, Red Bull Racing (520 points behind leader)
Vickers started 15th Sunday but struggled throughout the day and finished 26th. Looking Forward: Vickers is mathematically out of contention for the 2009 Sprint Cup championship.
Carl Edwards, Roush Fenway Racing (440 points behind leader)
One of the prerace favorites, Edwards was battling for a top-10 spot when Juan Pablo Montoya got loose and crashed into him to end his day. "It's just frustrating in general because I was having fun." Looking Forward: Edwards is mathematically out of contention for the 2009 Sprint Cup championship.
Kasey Kahne, Richard Petty Motorsports (399 points behind leader)
Kahne had a hopeful start to the day thanks to his second-place starting position, but engine woes and running out of fuel late resulted in a 33rd-place finish. "Overall, today was a tough day. The Budweiser team fought all day, but we ended up running out of fuel at the end." Looking Forward: Kahne is mathematically out of contention for the 2009 Sprint Cup championship.
Ryan Newman, Stewart-Haas Racing (324 points behind leader)
Although hampered by handling issues all day, Newman was able to climb up from his 26th starting position to finish 12th at Texas. "We just struggled with the car being loose on entry at the beginning of every run throughout the race, and that is what hurt us in the end." Looking Forward: In 14 career starts at Phoenix, Newman has three top-fives and an average finish of 22.9 - a stat inflated by four career DNFs at the venue.
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing (322 points behind leader)
Hamlin didn't have the best race day, but the result surely made him happy. Despite pit road woes, Hamlin and his team gambled on fuel and he managed to leave Texas with a runner-up finish when others ran dry. "We needed it -- we definitely did. Hats off to Mike (Ford, crew chief) and this whole FedEx Office Camry team." Looking Forward: In eight starts at Phoenix, Hamlin has four top-five finishes and five top-10 results (including three straight entering this weekend).
Greg Biffle, Roush Fenway Racing (247 points behind leader)
Biffle finished where he started (eighth) and kept his Chase hopes alive. "An eighth place finish is good. We pretty much ran 10th to 15th all day and then at the end a few guys tried to make it and ran out of gas, so we got those spots. We're happy with it." Looking Forward: Biffle has three top fives, four top 10s and an average finish of 14.9 in 11 career starts at Phoenix.
Juan Pablo Montoya, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing (236 points behind)
A multi-car crash he triggered when he got loose on Lap 174 severely damaged his car and led to a points draining 37th-place finish. "It is rough because we keep bringing great cars every week and to see one wrecked like that kind of sucks." Looking Forward: Montoya has yet to score a top-10 finish in five starts at Phoenix. His average finish is 21.4.
Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Racing (178 points behind leader)
Stewart was a solid top-10 contender all day long, but the team never found the right car balance to challenge for the win. "We missed it a little bit today and it was one of those changes that we couldn't do on a regular pit stop, so we just kind of had to work around it." Looking Forward: Aside from two hiccups, Stewart has run strong at Phoenix. In 15 starts, he has a 10.1 average finish with one win, seven top fives and nine top 10s.
Kurt Busch, Penske Racing (171 points behind leader)
Busch the elder battled his younger brother throughout Sunday for the lead, but a late fuel gamble allowed him to score his second Cup win of the season. "I knew what we had for fuel mileage. I was confident in my guys' numbers. They gave me what we needed to win today" Looking Forward: Aside from a few bumps in the road, Busch has his share of success at Phoenix - one win, four top fives and seven top 10s in 13 starts.
Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports (112 points behind leader)
After starting strong from pole and leading 11 laps, Gordon tumbled down the charts, spun avoiding an accident, but recovered to finish 13th. "Just a total missed opportunity. ... When (Jimmie Johnson's team) put together the string of runs that they did, you've just got to keep pushing, and if they make a mistake or a problem happens you've got to capitalize on it. ... We just really didn"t do a very good job today." Looking Forward: Surprisingly, Gordon was better in his first 16 winless races at Phoenix than in the four races since his breakthrough win. In 21 starts, he has one win, eight top fives (all before his win) and 15 top 10s (14 of them before his win).
Mark Martin, Hendrick Motorsports (73 points behind leader)
Although Martin was midpack early struggling with handling woes, he got back in Chase contention following a solid fourth-place finish at Texas. "I don't know why everybody tries to count this thing out and doesn't just wait and watch. There's still two races to go and still things can happen." Looking Forward: Martin couldn't pick a better place to continue his title charge than Phoenix. In 25 career starts at the 1-mile venue, he has two wins, 10 top fives and 16 top 10s for an average finish of 9.0.
In a twist of fate, Johnson was the one with bad luck as he got wrecked by Sam Hornish Jr. on Lap 3 Sunday. His team performed a minor miracle to get his car fixed and he was able to go back on track to finish 38th. "It's not as bad as it could have been. We could have been 43rd. At one point Chad (Knaus, crew chief) told me to hop out of the car, it was done, we're going to have to put it on the truck. They were able to get it fixed ... It's still a big ouch" Looking Forward: Johnson's Phoenix stats are simply unbelievable. In 12 career starts at the 1-miler, he has three wins, seven top fives and 10 top 10s for an average finish of 5.4 -- tops in the history of the track.