- This time Jimmie Johnson was the spoiler at Texas Motor Speedway.
Already eliminated from title contention, Johnson earned his third consecutive victory in the fall race Texas Motor Speedway, with a win in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500.
Usually Johnson’s wins in the fall at Texas have come along with a championship, but this year Johnson’s victory denied any of the eight remaining drivers still eligible in the Chase to lock in a spot in the Nov. 16 championship season finale.
Kevin Harvick finished second, Brad Keselowski was third, Kyle Busch was fourth and Jamie McMurray was fifth.
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Matt Kenseth, who started on the pole, got off to a strong start and led the first 53 laps.
Johnson got around Kenseth to take the lead for the first time on Lap 54.
A round of green-flag pit stops began on Lap 87. Once the cycle was completed on Lap 95, Johnson remained in the lead followed by Kenseth and Harvick.
Johnson continued to lead the way until a second round of green-flag stop began on Lap 136. Once the cycle was completed on Lap 141, Johnson held a significant lead followed by Harvick and Gordon.
Debris in Turn 2 brought out the second caution of the race on Lap 175. After all of the lead-lap cars pit for fuel and tires, Johnson stayed in the lead on the restart on Lap 183 followed by Gordon and Harvick.
Kyle Busch slammed the wall on Lap 205 to bring out the third caution. All of the lead-lap cars pit for fuel and tires and again and again Johnson came out the leader on the restart on Lap 211. He was followed by Kenseth and Gordon.
Five laps later, Gordon got around Johnson and moved into the lead.
Debris on the frontstretch brought out the fourth caution of the race on Lap 223. All of the lead-lap cars elected to pit and Denny Hamlin took only two new tires and took over the lead on the restart on Lap 228. He was followed by Gordon and Johnson, who both took four new tires.
Gordon, with a push from Logano, moved into the lead shortly after the restart.
Debris in Turn 4 brought out a caution on Lap 241. After pit stops, Johnson retook the lead on the restart on Lap 247 followed by Gordon and Kenseth.
Debris from Danica Patrick hitting the wall in Turn 2 brought out the sixth caution of the race on Lap 252. During pit stops, Kenseth’s team was slowed by a stuck lugnut. Keselowski elected not to pit and took over the lead on Lap 259. He was followed by Johnson and Gordon. Kenseth restarted in 20th.
Keselowski was able to remain out front on the older tires longer than many anticipated before Gordon retook the lead on Lap 276.
Debris on the track in Turn 2 brought out a caution on Lap 285. All of the lead-lap cars pit for tires and fuel with Johnson coming off pit road with the lead followed by Harvick and Gordon.
Brett Moffitt wrecked on Lap 296 to bring out a caution on Lap 296. Seven cars elected not to pit during the caution and remained on the track but one, Tony Stewart, had to pit anyway with a flat tire.
On the restart on Lap 303, Kenseth was back in the lead followed by Kurt Busch, Brian Vickers, Hamlin and Kyle Busch.
Kurt Busch moved into the lead on Lap 305.
Logano spun with a flat right-rear tire on Lap 305 to bring out the ninth caution of the race. Kurt Busch led the way on the restart on Lap 309.
Kasey Kahne wrecked on Lap 314 to bring out the 10th caution. Kurt Busch elected not to pit and remained in the lead on the restart on Lap 318.
Kahne wrecked again on Lap 320 to bring out the 11th caution of the race. On the restart, Johnson led the way followed by Gordon and Kurt Busch.
Gordon moved into the lead quickly after the restart.
Clint Bowyer wrecked on Lap 331 to bring out the 12th caution of the race, tying a race record. On the restart, Gordon led the way followed by Johnson, Keselowski, Harvick and Jamie McMurray.