How did the Chase for the Sprint Cup drivers perform in Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix International Raceway? Get driver-by-driver analysis with Charting the Chasers. —Tom Jensen For more motorsports coverage, check out SPEED.com
Jeff Burton (504 points behind leader)
Started 40th, finished 19th at Phoenix — Another loser in the fuel-mileage gamble, Burton fell from the top five to the bottom of the top 20 of the race.
Clint Bowyer (434 points behind leader)
Started 14th, finished 21st at Phoenix — Caught in an early incident that damaged his RCR Chevrolet, Bowyer really had no opportunity to play a role in the outcome of the race.
Kurt Busch (429 points behind leader)
Started third, finished ninth at Phoenix — The penultimate race for Busch in the Blue Deuce was OK, but not spectacular. A top-10 result was good for the Penske squad, though hardly remarkable.
Tony Stewart (388 points behind leader)
Started 20th, finished 17th at Phoenix — He ran in the top five briefly, but Stewart faded badly at the end of the race, winding up with a disappointing finish.
Greg Biffle (349 points behind leader)
Started fourth, finished fourth at Phoenix — Although Biffle’s car was nowhere near as fast as it was the week before at Texas Motor Speedway, he still was able to capture his second consecutive top-five finish and gain a spot in the points.
Kyle Busch (347 points behind leader)
Started seventh, finished 13th at Phoenix — The Shrub got bitten in the backside by the fuel-mileage thing, the same way his teammate Hamlin did. He ran much, much better than his finishing position indicates.
Jeff Gordon (338 points behind leader)
Started 22nd, finished 11th at Phoenix — Why did Jimmie Johnson switch pit crews with Jeff Gordon last week at Texas? Gordon knows now, as his crew did him no favors on pit road at Phoenix.
Matt Kenseth (311 points behind leader)
Started 15th, finished seventh at Phoenix — The 2003 Sprint Cup champion had a solid, if unspectacular run at Phoenix, scoring his third top 10 in the last five races and has a good chance to finish fifth in points.
Carl Edwards (264 points behind leader)
Started first, finished first at Phoenix — Perfection personified, Edwards qualified on the pole, led all three practice sessions and broke a 70-race winless streak, plus he won Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Can’t do any better than Edwards did this weekend.
Kevin Harvick (46 points behind leader)
Started 29th, finished sixth at Phoenix — A mixture of both lucky and good, Harvick had to make a second final pit stop to replace a loose lugnut. But that allowed him to top off with fuel and go on to stay in title contention.
Jimmie Johnson (15 points behind leader)
Started 21st, finished fifth at Phoenix — Slower than Hamlin all race long, Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus kept the team’s dream of a fifth-consecutive championship alive by milking fuel mileage until the bitter end. Now, the pressure is squarely on Hamlin.
Denny Hamlin (championship leader)
Started 17th, finished 12th at Phoenix — Just when it seemed certain Hamlin would become the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, a fuel-mileage race broke out and he was the big loser. His lead is 15 points heading into Homestead-Miami Speedway.