Denny Hamlin’s car had been running at the end of the past 53 Nextel Cup races, but his No. 11 Chevrolet blew an engine after just 209 laps and he finished last.
Hamlin was not upset, though. He started at the rear of the field after changing engines before the race, and had roared up through the field to get into the top 10 before the engine erupted.
“I am really excited about things to come,” Hamlin said.
“I think those 11 other guys in the Chase are going to deal with us before it’s all said and done.”
Hamlin had clinched his Chase spot in the Michigan race. Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards all mathematically sewed up spots with the Bristol results.