[to top of second column]
Johnson first took the lead when he passed Gordon on the 356th lap. He lost it on pit road, then passed Denny Hamlin to lead again on lap 393. He held off a modest challenge by Gordon with about 30 laps to go and then dueled side-by-side with his teammate until the caution, which came when David Reutimann ran out of gas near the entrance to turn one.
Gordon, who had just nudged in front of Johnson before the yellow flag came out, was the leader, with Johnson second and everyone behind them heading to pit road for tires.
What had been an atypically clean raced turned into mayhem on the restart.
Earnhardt, who was in position to give Hendrick a sweep of the top three spots before the caution, said everyone being on fresh tires played a factor in the crash.
"We all took off and ran into the back of the leaders, all of us," he said.
Earnhardt had no issue with Bowyer for trying to take the inside line, saying that's how you approach a two-lap sprint, but was at a loss to explain Reutimann's actions.
"I would like an explanation on why that happened," he said of Reutimann stopping where he did after having made several troubled laps without going to the pits. "There doesn't seem like there could be a logical reason for him to have to stop on the track."
Reutimann said his motor just died.
"I would not have stopped on the freaking racetrack. I would have limped it around there and come to pit road, which is what I was trying to do," he said. "The thing quit going down the back straightaway, and it shut off. I just didn't stop there intentionally."
Greg Biffle, who finished 13th, remained the points leader by six over Earnhardt.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
< Sports index
Back to top
News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries
Law & Courts |
Spiritual Life |
Health & Fitness |
Calendar | Letters to the Editor