My top picks again were about as fast as I thought they’d be, with one surprise:
1. Jimmie Johnson: Johnson had a terrific car, and if it weren’t for a spin in the closing laps, he probably would’ve finished second, and maybe first.
2. Kyle Busch: Busch also was very fast and likely would’ve contended for the win if not for a late-race brush with the wall, and then a full-blown crash in the closing laps.
3. Jeff Gordon: Gordon got into the wall hard on the very first lap, so we never got to see how fast he was.
The surprise: In the final segment, Kurt Busch’s car really came on. When he got to the lead, Jimmie Johnson couldn’t catch him, and it appeared to be due to more than just the clean-air factor.