Kyle Busch won the March race at Bristol in the car of tomorrow’s debut run, but Hendrick Motorsports – which swept to victories in each of the first five COT races, put only one car in Saturday’s top 10.
That was Busch, who finished ninth and moved closer to clinching a spot in the Chase. He’s now 303 points clear of 13th-place Dale Earnhardt Jr. with two races left, meaning he needs to score only 88 points in the next two races – an average of two 39th-place finishes – to mathematically clinch.
Jeff Gordon was 19th, Jimmie Johnson 21st and Casey Mears 22nd.
“It just seems like we can’t quite get a handle on this place quite yet,” Johnson said. “But it is behind us now and we keep moving forward.”