How did the Chasers do at Talladega? 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 (556 points behind leader)
Vickers started 12th, rode around midpack, was up as high as fourth with only a handful of laps remaining, but got shuffled back and finished 13th. "It was a lot calmer out there. It made the middle part of the race a little more boring." Looking Forward: Texas Motor Speedway has not been kind to Vickers. He has led just 19 laps in 10 races and has an average finish of 22.2.
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing (448 points behind leader)
For the second time this postseason, an engine issue ended Hamlin's day early - resulting in a 38th-place finish Sunday at Talladega. Looking Forward: In eight starts at Texas, Hamlin has two top fives, five top 10s and an average finish of 11.6.
Carl Edwards, Roush Fenway Racing (437 points behind leader)
Unlike the spring race, Edwards kept all his wheels on the ground Sunday as he finished 14th. "We fell back and waited until the end to make our move, but when it came time to go my car just wasn't as fast as it needed to be. We were lucky to avoid those wrecks at the end and get out of here in one piece." Looking Forward: Edwards has more than his share of success at Texas, although he also has his share of misses, too. To go along with three wins at the 1.5-mile track, Edwards has two finishes of 25th or worse for an average finish of 13.4 in nine starts.
Kasey Kahne, Richard Petty Motorsports (414 points behind leader)
Kahne started 11th, led a lap, and finished a Chase-best second at Talladega. "The car handled good, which I think everybody's car handled good here. We just kind of shot up through there, had great track position on that restart and ran second. It was good for our Budweiser team." Looking Forward: Aside from one win and a second-place finish, Texas has been rough to Kahne. In 10 career starts, he has an average finish of 21.9 with three DNFs (all engine related).
Ryan Newman, Stewart-Haas Racing (402 points behind leader)
After starting seventh and getting up front for three laps, Newman went on the wildest ride of the day on Lap 183 when he made contact with teammate Tony Stewart, got hit by Marcos Ambrose from behind, and got loose before going airborne. He finished 36th. "Pretty sore -- just really disappointed. We had this race back here in the spring and complained about cars getting airborne and now ironically I'm the guy that gets upside down." Looking Forward: Newman is hit or miss at Texas. He has one win and three top fives in 12 starts. He also has five finishes of 30th or worse for an average finish of 23.2.
Greg Biffle, Roush Fenway Racing (340 points behind leader)
Biffle survived the late carnage and finished fourth at Talladega. "We got our track position at the end and we knew they were all gonna wreck, so we just played it smart and got through that stuff." Looking Forward: In 11 career starts at Texas Motor Speedway, Biffle has one win, three top fives and four top 10s. He also has four DNFs (two crashes, one mechanical, one engine issue).
Kurt Busch, Penske Racing (312 points behind leader)
Busch had a tough Sunday at 'Dega. He was having a nice and steady race until Lap 44 when he got bump-drafted too hard and it created a tire rub, which led to a spin just a few laps later. He was able to get back on the lead lap late in the race, but was involved in the second of two big crashes and ended the day 30th. "It was the most emotional highs and lows that I've experienced since I've been racing here at Talladega." Looking Forward: Busch has one top five and eight top 10s in 13 starts at Texas Motor Speedway.
Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Racing (279 points behind leader)
Accidental contact by teammate Ryan Newman led to a crash that ended Stewart's day on Lap 183. Looking Forward: Smoke has one win, four top fives and nine top 10s for an average finish of 12.6 in Texas.
Juan Pablo Montoya, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing (239 points behind)
Although Montoya led laps Sunday and was a contender for the win, he got collected in the last lap wreck and finished 19th. "I wanted to run up front but you couldn't do anything." Looking Forward: Montoya has two top 10s and an average finish of 20.4 in five starts.
Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports (192 points behind leader)
Gordon was just unlucky at Talladega. Had he not run out of fuel during the final laps of the race under caution, he likely would have avoided the last big wreck of the race. Instead, he was right in the mix and ended the day 20th. "A little disappointing for us on the DuPont Chevrolet just because we ran out of fuel ... I certainly didn't think we were going to run out right then but I guess I'm kind of glad we ran out when we did because we were at least able to get back out there and destroy our car." Looking Forward: Gordon is the latest winner at Texas Motor Speedway. In 17 total starts, he has seven top fives and nine top 10s.
Mark Martin, Hendrick Motorsports (184 points behind leader)
All was set for Mark Martin to make up points on teammate Jimmie Johnson until a late crash led to a 28th-place finish. "It was just a wreck. I hope everybody enjoyed the show there." Looking Forward: Martin has one win, five top fives and nine top 10s in 17 starts at Texas Motor Speedway.
Johnson is living a charmed life. His strategy of hanging out in the back until "go time" paid off big time Sunday as he avoided two big wrecks - the second by just a whisker - and ended the day eighth, extending his championship lead to a likely insurmountable 184 points over his nearest competitor. "I was so concerned about this race. I thought I was going to lose points with about three or four to go. So to have it turn around and lead with points over the guys, I didn't expect it. Very, very good situation we're in." Looking Forward: Johnson has one win, six top fives and nine top 10s in 12 career starts at Texas Motor Speedway for an average finish of 8.5.