Last week's race at Kansas International Speedway saw the yellow flag wave 15 times. This week the yellow flag was displayed at Charlotte Motor Speedway a grand total of four times. Long green flag runs dominated the evening, but of course the race came down to a short run at the end and it was Brad Keselowski who came out on top.
It's been a trying season for the defending Sprint Cup Series champion. It's been so tough that Keselowski missed the Chase and has no chance to repeat his title.
He only led 11 laps out of the 334 run, but that was all he needed. Keselowski and Kasey Kahne put on a thrilling battle for the lead and the win in the final 20 laps of the race. At one point Keselowski took the lead going into turn three, but Kahne took it back before they made it to the line.
Keselowski's win looks even more impressive because he rallied from deep in the field when the jack got stuck underneath his car during a pit stop.
This race was completely dominated by Hendrick Motorsports; Kahne and Jimmie Johnson in particular. Kahne led the most laps on the night with 138 and Johnson was close behind with 130. Johnson was in total control of the late stages of the event. But then the caution came out and everything changed.
The yellow flag was displayed on lap 308 for debris on the backstretch. Johnson went in the leader but a decision by Chad Knaus to take four tires dropped Johnson from the lead to third. On the restart Johnson shoved Kahne into turn one and then got loose. He saved the car but dropped back to seventh. He rallied back to the front but could get no closer than fourth.
21-year-old phenom Kyle Larson made his Sprint Cup Series debut in the no. 51 car and ran in the top-20 all race long until his engine let go just before halfway. He finished 37th.