With just two races remaining before the Chase begins and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series spent this past Sunday night under the lights at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Denny Hamlin won his first pole of 2010 on Saturday afternoon and shared the front row with Ryan Newman, with Hamlin’s teammate Kyle Busch starting third and Jeff Gordon and blank in fifth.

The two were side by side for the first two laps of the Emory Healthcare 500 before Hamlin was able to finally clear the No. 39 and move out to a one second lead by lap ten.

On lap 16 Newman was able to get by Hamlin and, for fourth place Tony Stewart got by a loose Jimmie Johnson.

Newman was able to pace the field until Hamlin got by him on lap 28. Busch moved past Newman for second two laps later. Clint Bowyer, who sat in 12th when the race started, was battling Biffle for the ninth position at lap 34, with Biffle running right up against the wall. Points leader Kevin Harvick, who started deep in the field had worked his way up to 15th as the field neared 40 laps complete.

The lapped car of Sam Hornish, Jr. began green flag stops on lap 46, along with Marcos Ambrose. Kurt Busch came down the following lap for a wedge and air pressure adjustment on the blue deuce. Sorenson, Stewart, Allmendinger and several others hit pit road on lap 48. Biffle, Montoya, Menard and Johnson were among those who came down the following lap, and the leaders Hamlin and Busch came down pit road along with Harvick on lap 50.

Busch beat Hamlin off pit road but a pit road speeding penalty took the lead away from the No. 18 and handing it back to his teammate. Stewart, however, got by Hamlin on lap 52. After making his pass thru penalty, Busch returned to the track in 23rd. Hamlin regained the lead from Smoke on lap

Kasey Kahne and Martin Truex, Jr. had a hard side by side battle for third with Kahne running right up against the wall and able to take the spot. Just behind them Newman began challenging Edwards for fifth.

Stewart made his way back to the top of the board on lap 66. Behind the race for the lead Mark Martin and Jeff Burton raced for 20th. On lap 70 Kyle Busch made his way down pit road after complaining to his team a lap before about a vibration, possibly a loose wheel. He returned to the track, this time in 36th and a lap down.

Harvick continued his strong run, entering the top ten at lap 80, and passed AJ Allmendinger for ninth that same lap. Johnson began challenging Truex for the fourth spot, and Stewart held a half second lead over Hamlin.

Amidst lap traffic, including the struggling No. 31 CAT Chevy of Jeff Burton, Hamlin was once again on the back bumper of Stewart, passing him on lap 87. With a big run on the outside Stewart went back to the lead once again on lap 92 as green flag stops began with the lap down cars. Hamlin took the lead back again the following lap, but Stewart remained on his bumper.

Bowyer and Newman hit pit road on lap 94. Two laps later, as Stewart and Hamlin swapped spots again, McMurray came down for his second stop along with Truex. On lap 98 Gordon, Biffle and the leader Stewart came down pit road, with Hamlin following them in. Most of the lead lap cars were on and off pit road by lap 100, including Harvick and Johnson. Stewart cycled back to the lead.

David Reutimann was shown the black flag and had to come down pit road on lap 108 for having no communication with his team. On lap 113 Johnson and Kahne split the lap car of Kevin Conway as they raced for fifth, and a cylinder appeared to be down on the No. 20 of Joey Logano. Jeff Gordon, meanwhile was able to pass Bowyer for 12th.

As Harvick charted his way to the top five on lap 127, Hamlin closed the one second gap between he and Stewart and regained the lead once again. The following lap Hamlin passed his teammate Logano, who continued to run down a cylinder, hoping the problem had just been electrical.

Hamlin lapped a struggling Martin on lap 132 and was right in the middle of lap traffic, allowing Stewart to hang nearby. The first caution of the night came out on lap 134 for debris, putting Dale Earnhardt, Jr. back on the lead lap. The leaders hit pit road and it was Hamlin by a nose over Stewart, with Edwards, Harvick and Truex rounding out the top five.

A great start by Hamlin on lap 140 but not for Stewart who fell back to fifth. He quickly began making his way up. Speaking of falling back Harvick had trouble on the restart as he fell back to seventh. Stewart though charged back and regain the lead on lap 142, and Hamlin ended up falling back to fourth.

The second caution of the race came out on lap 143 for Hamlin spinning in turn one. Hamlin, fifth in points before the race, has finished four of the last five races outside the top 15. He ended the night finishing 43rd.

Stewart, Edwards, Truex, Johnson, Harvick, Kahne, Gordon, Montoya , Menard and Newman came off pit road in the top ten, the top four remaining the same.

Stewart led the field to the lap 152 restart side by side with Edwards. Johnson clears Truex to take third and in the middle the pack Greg Biffle was sent spinning. Caution came out on lap 153; Newman clipped Biffle as the pair made if three wide with McMurray, and Sadler was also collected in the incident.

On lap 161 it was back to green flag racing and Johnson made it three wide to take the lead! Edwards on the outside battled hard for second but Stewart maintained. Behind them Kyle Busch ran in the sixth spot and the top half of the field were single file. At lap 163 teammates Juan Pablo Montoya and Jamie McMurray raced side by side for eighth. McMurray cleared his teammate who was left to battle Earnhardt, Jr. to retain ninth, which he successful did.

Just ahead of that race Jeff Gordon moved past Busch for sixth. On lap 168 Gordon charged ahead for another spot, passing Kahne for fifth. Stewart made the 16th lead change of the race on lap 170, passing Johnson for position.

Harvick rejoined the top ten at lap 173 passing Menard, and three laps later passed Kahne for ninth. A lap later he moved past Montoya for eighth, and continued to charge. Just ahead of the No. 29 McMurray got way loose and jumped down to pit road with a flat left rear tire. Ahead of them, Gordon moved to fourth past Truex.

Bowyer ran right in front of his challenger for the last Chase spot Martin in 15th, holding the No. 5, who had been a lap down earlier in the race, at bay. Stewart continued to pace Johnson and the rest of the field by over two seconds.

Caution again came out on lap 200 for David Ragan’s spin. He had been running 13th and was able to continue. Trouble also for Paul Menard, who had been running in the top ten appeared to drop to seven cylinders.

The leaders all hit pit road once again under the yellow, and once again it was Stewart leading the field down pit road. Martin was the big winner on the stops, continuing his rebound and lining up eighth on the restart while Harvick was the big loser. His crew dropped a lugnut on the right side, which dropped the No. 29 Shell Pennzoil Chevrolet to seventh.

Stewart and Johnson led the field to the restart and it was Edwards who made it three wide, taking the lead. More side by side racing was occurring back in the pack as Earnhardt and Newman battled for position. On lap 207 Stewart reclaimed the lead. More three wide racing involving McMurray, Burton and Reutimann made it dicey in the middle of the pack.

Montoya passed Busch for blank at lap 211. Racing for the lucky dog McMurray passed Reutimann for the spot. Edwards made his way to second on lap 221, and a very fast Kahne was able to overtake Harvick for seventh.

Continuing a strong run of his own Montoya blew by Johnson on lap 223 for third. Biffle returned to the track after lengthy repairs the following lap, 74 laps behind the leader in 40th.

With 99 laps to go Biffle reported to his crew that he had no power and limped around AMS, but did not bring out a caution. Stewart’s lead extended to four seconds over Edwards as Burton challenged Kahne for eighth, and was able to do so with 95 laps remaining.

By lap 239 Edwards had cut the lead to two and a half seconds. Montoya ran right against the wall with 82 laps remaining in his attempt to keep a very loose Kyle Busch behind him in fourth. JPM was able to use the high line to his advantage and hold his position.

On lap 246 Harvick moved past Johnson on the inside to enter the top five. Four laps later Edwards drove by the No. 14 for the top spot. Green flag stops then began with Montoya and Kyle Busch hitting pit road along with the elder Busch, Johnson, Keselowski and many others. Burton, Kahne and Earnhardt came down with 72 laps to go along with second place Stewart.

Caution with 72 to go as Harvick shredded the left front tire trying to get on pit road. Gordon had came in when NASCAR closed pit road and drove thru, and Edwards was shown as the leader.

Because of how the caution came out during green flag stops, Harvick was the only car on the lead lap and was shown as the leader. When he came down to continue repairs NASCAR held him a lap, which left him on the lead lap and let everyone else catch up; McMurray was the lucky dog.

Confused? Well, join the club. Under the very extended caution Gordon, Kurt Busch and Martin were among the cars to come in.

Edwards led the field to the green flag with 62 to go and Smoke opened the door to let Montoya by. Truex and Busch battled side by side for second and Stewart made his way back around Montoya. Caution the following lap for a lot of smoke from Scott Speed who lost an engine. His car caught fire as he made his way down pit road, which the safety crew was able to immediately get put out. Menard finally went behind the wall as well with his continued engine issues.

It was Truex off pit road first followed by Kyle Busch, Edwards who came in as the leader, Kahne, Stewart, Johnson Montoya, Bowyer, Allmendinger and Earnhardt, Jr. rounding out the top ten. Kurt Busch and Gordon stayed out.

The green flag waved with a 50 lap shoot out remained. Busch was able to jump ahead but Gordon wasn’t so lucky, being over taken by Busch and Kahne. Gordon, Johnson and Edwards made it three with the No. 24 dropping two more spots, and continued, losing spots to Truex and Stewart.

Tire rub on the slowing No. 29 of Harvick, who was visibly off the pace. Ahead of him the Budweiser Ford passed the Miller Lite Dodge for the lead and Johnson passed the younger Busch for fourth. Forty four laps remained and Montoya jumped below Gordon to take eighth, and Edwards, Johnson and Kurt Busch made it three wide as Johnson continued to gain ground on the leaders.

Johnson, on the high line, was making up quick ground on Kahne with just under 40 laps to go. The No. 48 was all over the back of Kahne trying to make

With 34 laps to go JJ made a move but was unable to do so, and Edwards got under him, but Cousin Carl still wasn’t able to get by. Behind them Montoya slid into seventh and, with 30 laps to go Keselowski hit the wall and brought out the ninth caution of the race.

Under the yellow the pits opened for the leaders and everyone came down for tires, fuel and adjustments. Edwards and Stewart beat the leader Kahne off pit road, followed by Johnson, the Busch brothers Kurt and Kyle. Bowyer, JPM, Truex, Jr. and Gordon rounded out the top ten.

Just 24 laps remained when Edwards and Stewart went side by side to restart the Emory Healthcare 500. This time Stewart was able to hang with Edwards and Kyle Busch, Johnson and Bowyer made it three wide. Stewart then jumped to the lead and Kahne and the elder Busch made heavy contact further in the pack, after Newman got into the back of Kahne. Busch was able to continue but Kahne lost a tire and fell like a brick through the field.

Caution came out with 23 laps to go for debris off Kahne’s No. 9 Ford, which he took to the garage. Montoya, Gordon, McMurray, Sorenson, Martin, Allmendinger, Harvick and others came down pit road with Gordon winning the battle off pit road but most of the leaders stayed on track. Gordon lined up on the restart 12th.

It was just 18 laps to go when Edwards led the field to the green and Stewart spun his tires but was still able to hang with the leader . Johnson moved to the high line and tried to pass the elder Busch brother for fourth, and behind them Bowyer was all over the bumper of the No. 18. Johnson made a move with 16 to go to get third from Newman and cleared him in turn four.

Gordon began falling through the field and ran 12th with 13 laps to go. Burton got wicked loose in front of Kurt Busch was the two battled for Burton’s fifth place spot and amazing the CAT Chevrolet was able to hang on. Younger brother Kyle was then able to pass Kurt for sixth and Sorenson caught the battling Gordon and McMurray, looking to take over 14th.

Burton, meanwhile ran fifth and challenged Newman for fourth, allowing Kyle Busch to close up. The No. 31 got wicked loose again but again was able to save it. Stewart had a one second lead over Edwards as just four laps remained.

Contact between Newman and the lapped car of Kahne allowed Bowyer to get by. Stewart was able to expand his lead and took the checkered flag. Carl Edwards came home second, Johnson, Burton and Kyle Busch rounding out the top five.

The win broke Stewart’s 31 race winless streak; his last victory coming last year at Kansas. In Victory Lane, Stewart said he'd "never been so happy to win in my life." 

The top ten in points are now officially locked into the Chase, which begins in two weeks, leaving Biffle and Bowyer the last two in points. Newman is 117 points behind Bowyer, with McMurray and Martin trailing him in 14th and 15th.

Next week will be the remaining race before the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series under the lights on Saturday night at the Richmond International Raceway. Coverage of the Air Guard 400 begins at 7:30 Eastern time on ABC.