Brian Vickers ended an almost four-year winless streak with a confident performance at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
The part-time Michael Waltrip Racing driver had the Loudon race in the bag after passing long-time leader Tony Stewart with 14 of the 301 laps to go. But for the 12th time the race went under a full-course caution, and Vickers had to survive a green-white-checker finish to end his 75-race losing run.
Stewart had moved to the front by non-stopping during one of those many cautions at roughly three-quarter distance. The Stewart-Haas team stuck with its gamble despite the many opportunities to pit, but fell short when Stewart’s Chevrolet ran dry just after the final restart. This left early race leader Kyle Busch to take up the charge, but there was no time left to deny Vickers his win.
On a day when numerous teams tried something different to get track position, Jeff Burton enjoyed one of his strongest races in years, taking third place for Richard Childress Racing.
Kurt Busch appeared to have the pace to win, but was shuffled down the order by taking four tires when most of the rest took two. A tap from Matt Kenseth sent him spinning into Ryan Newman, effectively ending both their races.
Poleman Brad Keselowski took fourth, Aric Almirola was fifth, while Jimmie Johnson, who started last when his second-place qualifying time was disallowed, fought his way up the order to claim sixth.
Results - 302 laps:Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Brian Vickers Waltrip Toyota 3h14m10.000s 2. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota 0.582s 3. Jeff Burton Childess Chevrolet + 1.013s 4. Brad Keselowski Penske Ford + 1.263s 5. Aric Almirola Petty Ford + 1.717s 6. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet + 2.065s 7. Kevin Harvick Childess Chevrolet + 2.732s 8. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford + 2.809s 9. Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Toyota + 2.815s10. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet + 3.063s11. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet + 3.265s12. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet + 3.395s13. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota + 3.634s14. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet + 3.733s15. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford + 3.753s16. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota + 4.048s17. Paul Menard Childess Chevrolet + 4.141s18. David Gilliland Front Row Ford + 4.308s19. David Ragan Front Row Ford + 4.522s20. David Stremme Swan Toyota + 4.594s21. Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Toyota + 4.663s22. AJ Allmendinger Phoenix Chevrolet + 4.884s23. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet + 5.068s24. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet + 5.197s25. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota + 12.251s26. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet + 52.481s27. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota + 1 lap28. David Reutimann BK Toyota + 2 laps29. JJ Yeley Baldwin Chevrolet + 3 laps30. Ken Schrader FAS Lane Ford + 3 laps31. Kurt Busch Furniture Row Chevrolet + 18 laps32. Landon Cassill Circle Sport Chevrolet + 21 laps*33. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford + 24 laps34. Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Ford + 26 laps35. Josh Wise Front Row Ford + 31 laps36. Casey Mears Germain Ford + 59 laps* Not running at finishRetirements: Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 237 laps Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 236 laps Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 225 laps Joey Logano Penske Ford 211 laps** Morgan Shepherd Keselowski Toyota 92 laps Michael McDowell Parsons Ford 89 laps Mike Bliss Humphrey Smith Toyota 75 laps** Running again at finish