It seems like anymore, NASCAR isn't about who has the best car, who handles the race the best, or who is the most dominant driver.  More often than not these days, it's about who has enough gas in the tank to see the checkered flag.

Once again, it was a fuel mileage race, and it came down to a couple Chase drivers and who would make it to the end.

Denny Hamlin had a strong car, but was forced to stop for fuel.  Brad Keselowski dominated, but ran out of fuel in one cycle of stops, then had to pit with a few laps remaining to ensure he would finish under power.

Clint Bowyer was on the edge on fuel, but rather than pit, he went for it.  There was some conserving for a while, but with Hamlin closing in, and fast, Bowyer was then given the release to go for the win, and hold off his competition.  Sure enough, Bowyer had just enough gas to make it to the finish, and capture his third win of the season.

Bowyer did try to do a burnout, but sadly then his tank ran dry, and had to be pushed to victory lane.  But, rather than risk a wrecker pushing his car and it being possibly hurt, the entire crew decided to push his No. 15 Pink Lemonade 5-Hour Energy Toyota the entire frontstretch, down pit road, and into the winner's circle.

The writers, well except for a couple, all had strong top-10 runs.  The points did not change much, however a gap has opened midway through the standings.  There's still just 20 points between first and sixth, and 40 between first and eighth.  Ninth and lower are more than a race back, and needing to get some help in order to get back into the hunt.

Here's where everyone is at following Saturday night's Bank of America 500:

 

Rob Tiongson (2205) Denny Hamlin finished 2nd (4)

Sal Sigala Jr. (2204) Denny Hamlin finished 2nd (3)

Ryan O'Hara (2194) Kyle Busch finished 5th (2)

James Broomhead (2190) Kasey Kahne finished 8th (3)

Dustin Parks (2190) Kasey Kahne finished 8th (2)

Kelly Crandall (2185) Kasey Kahne finished 8th (4)

Billy Fellin (2168) Kasey Kahne finished 8th (5)

Patti Rodisch (2165) Greg Biffle finished 4th (2)

Misan Akuya (2162) Kasey Kahne finished 8th (1)

Kara Martin (2161) Jeff Gordon finished 18th (3)

Christopher Leone (2150) Jeff Gordon finished 18th (3)

Michael Hirshbein (2148) Denny Hamlin finished 2nd (1)

 

Next Race:  From one 1.5-mile track to another, NASCAR is heading west to start the second half of the Chase.  When they arrive, don't expect to see a cowardly lion or a tin man to welcome the crews as their haulers enter the Kansas Speedway.

However, what will welcome teams is an all new track surface, smoother, progressive, and will make for an entirely different race than what was seen earlier this season.

Writers, don't get swept up in a twister, although tornado season for the Great Plains has mostly ended.  Your picks for the Hollywood Casino 400 are due by Thursday, October 18, at 10 p.m. ET.