CONCORD, N.C. -- Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway was defined in part by a track record-tying number of cautions -- and as the laps wound down, fuel mileage played a major role as well.
Let's take a look at what we learned.
PLAYING THE FUEL-MILEAGE GAME
As fuel became an issue late in Saturday night's race, many competitors headed for pit road.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 88 team elected to go into fuel-saving mode and remain on the track through the checkered flag.
The strategy was paying off as Earnhardt raced into the top 10 and toward the top five as the final laps wound down.
"We run out with about a lap to go," he explained. "We should have finished behind the No. 14, but it started running out.”
The No. 14 car finished fifth, and Earnhardt ultimately made it to the finish line in 13th.
Kasey Kahne, who also made it to the end without heading to pit road for more fuel, finished right behind his teammate in 14th.
A speedy pit stop by the No. 24 team during a caution on lap 81 got Chase Elliott off of pit road in the fourth position.
After starting the race in eighth, Elliott was prepared to continue battling inside the top five. But on the restart, he found himself racing three-wide.
"There is really not enough room to be three-wide," the rookie said. "I tried to give as much room as I could do as possible."
Elliott and a competitor made contact, and it sent the No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS into the wall.
The damage sent Elliott to the garage, but hard work by the No. 24 team allowed him to return to the track before Lap 152.
He ultimately gained two positions down the stretch to finish 31st.
"That’s racing, I guess," he said. "We’ll just try to go get 'em next week. The good news is we had a fast NAPA Chevy; the bad news is that we’ve had three bad weeks in a row. So, for us, we’ve just got to go back and get the job done, bottom line. So, we’ll try again next week.”
JOHNSON LOOKING TO BOUNCE BACK
Like Elliott, Jimmie Johnson cracked the top five early in Saturday night's race. But also like his teammate, shortly thereafter, he made contact with the wall, causing damage that forced him to the garage.
Johnson was able to return to the track as well due to the work of the No. 48 team, and he picked up seven spots from his position when returning to the track on Lap 74.
He was ultimately scored 32nd, just behind Elliott.