“ I don't know where that last caution came from, but it was our saving grace. ” -- KYLE BUSCH Tony Stewart, the race leader before the fifth and final caution for debris in Turn 2, lost ground on the restart and finished third. Denny Hamlin ran fourth, followed by Kasey Kahne.
The race turned on the last caution, which Stewart said was called because of a plastic water bottle in Turn 2. Stewart was strong on long runs but uncharacteristically slow off the mark on restarts, and Busch took full advantage.
The first step was beating Stewart off pit road during the final four-tire stop on Lap 388 of 400 and gaining control of the restart.
Earnhardt, who took over second in the standings -- five points behind series leader and 18th-place finisher Greg Biffle -- experienced brake problems for much of the race, but used the late restart to improve his position after Stewart fell back.
A caution for Jeff Burton's crash into the Turn 3 wall on Lap 311 interrupted a cycle of green-flag pit stops and scrambled the running order.
Jimmie Johnson, who came to pit road when the caution flew, was penalized for a tire violation on his pit stop -- after one of his crewmen rolled a tire unattended toward the pit wall -- and had to restart on Lap 319 from the tail end of the field.
That same restart proved disastrous for Edwards, who was black-flagged for jumping the start after he put the power down, in NASCAR's judgment, before reaching the double red restart lines on the outside wall.
Forced to serve a pass-through penalty, Edwards dropped to 15th, 17 seconds behind Stewart. On lap 372, Stewart put Edwards a lap down and pulled away from Busch in second place to a lead of nearly two seconds.
Johnson rallied to finish sixth, but Edwards, who led a race-high 210 laps, had to settle for 10th, after getting back on the lead lap as the free-pass car under the last caution.