With now just one weekend left to go before the Chase for the Sprint Cup begins, Kyle Busch secured his position in the top 12 and made a strong statement Sunday night.

325 laps, 500 miles, on Hotlanta's renowned track is a long haul for these engines, and they felt it tonight, along with the new "Triple Tread" Goodyear tires. Some engines gave, like Clint Bowyer's, as he was in the lead, as well as Brad Keselowski's, who was also in the lead at the time. Jeff Burton lost a right rear tire late in a run near the end of the race, though that was the only real tire trouble all night.

Jimmie Johnson had a rough night, being involved in two cautions. Jeff Gordon inched slightly closer to that elusive tenth position in the Chase, but now all pressure lies on he and his team's shoulders as Richmond next Saturday night is once again the stage that he must earn a Chase berth. Kurt Busch ran very well, as did Ryan Newman, bolstering their standings.

Next week is the so-called final "regular season" race, as things are white hot heading into Richmond.