|Tony Stewart passes Jimmie Johnson for his third win of the season (Photo courtesy Getty Images)|
Edwards wasn't the only Chase driver to record a top ten. Hendrick teammates Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon finished second and third, respectively. Both had strong cars during the race, and it seemed like a done deal that Hendrick Motorsports would record its 200th Cup victory. But neither were a match for Stewart when the race ended. After a bad Talladega finish, Kevin Harvick finished fourth. Denny Hamlin, who is always good at Martinsville, finished fifth. Dale Earnhardt Jr., who came close to winning the first Martinsville race in April, finished seventh. Ryan Newman, who spun early, came back to finish tenth.
Kurt Busch finished 14th, while fellow Penske teammate Brad Keselowski finished 17th. Keselowski was headed to a top ten finish, but was spun by Denny Hamlin with three laps to go. Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth wrecked in Turn 3 on lap 464. Busch finished 27th, Kenseth was 31st.
|This wreck, which included Kyle Busch (18), Mark Martin (5), and Matt Kenseth, killed Busch's championship hopes (Photo courtesy Getty Images)|
Carl Edwards got lucky once again. He somehow managed a good finish out of a bad day. Jimmie Johnson was passed for the win with three laps to go, and showed why he won't win the championship this year. Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth both saw their championship hopes go up in smoke in the same accident. The only driver who seems to be within striking distance of Carl Edwards is Tony Stewart. Stewart may be on a roll again, and could find himself hoisting the Sprint Cup Trophy at season's end. But there is only one way to find out who will win the championship. So tune in next week, where the Sprint Cup Series will race at Texas, and one driver comes closer to hoisting the Sprint Cup Trophy.