Pole-sitter Dale Earnhardt Jr. had his victory aspirations ended a few laps earlier when Denny Hamlin had a right-front tire go flat. As Hamlin was limping back to the pits, a part of the tire flew off and hit the front of Earnhardt's car. He was leading at the time. The shredded piece badly damaged the front splitter and part of the grill.

Earnhardt was forced to pit for repairs and was never able to get back to the front. He ended the day in 12th place.

Hamlin spent time in the infield care center after slamming hard into the fourth-turn wall on lap 148 when another right-front tire blew. He had recovered from the earlier incident and was running sixth at the time. Hamlin missed four weeks earlier in the year with a compressed fracture in his back.

Hamlin said his back "feels good. It feels the same as it did this morning (before the race). I just hit real hard and hit my knee pretty good. I am feeling much better now (as he talked to the media)."