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Sunday's Pure Michigan 400: Observations and Key Moments

- dscott@charlotteobserver.com
Monday, Aug. 19, 2013

OBSERVATIONS

• Usually, if a points leader goes out of a race this late in the regular season, it would cause all kinds of havoc. Not so with Jimmie Johnson, whose engine blew on Lap 54, ending his day. But he still leads the points and already had clinched a spot in the Chase last weekend.

• As these races so often do, this one turned into a fuel-mileage contest. Mark Martin said he knew he'd run out of gas unless there was a yellow flag during the final few laps, so what could he do? Keep his foot on the throttle until there was nothing left.

• With three yellow flags before the race was 14 laps old, it looked like it was going to be a long day. But it finished with just six more cautions after that and ended in a manageable 2 hours, 46 minutes.

5 KEY MOMENTS

1. Clint Bowyer spins out, getting the race off to a choppy start.

2. Points leader Jimmie Johnson, who started at the rear of the field and was moving up fast, leaves the race when his engine blows on Lap 54.

3. Kurt Busch goes to the lead on Lap 78, stays in front for 29 laps - longest of any driver for the race.

4. Kyle Busch spins on Lap 174 and Mark Martin takes the lead on the restart.

5. Martin runs out of gas on Lap 197, allowing Joey Logano to take the lead and win.

NEXT RACE

Irwin Tools Night Race

Where: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

TV: ABC (WSOC, Ch. 9).

Radio: Performance Racing Network.

Last year's winner: Denny Hamlin

Scott: 705-358-5889; Twitter: @davidscott14

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