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CARFAX 400 Highlights

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Published on Aug 16, 2009

Closing in on the checkered flag with mostly fumes in his gas tank, there were only two possibilities for Brian Vickers.

Run out of gas and probably blow any chance at making NASCAR's championship chase -- or make a bold move toward title contention by winning the race.

After a surprising gamble on gas by his crew chief, Vickers drove conservatively to conserve fuel. Then he pounced when race leader Jimmie Johnson's tank ran dry, taking the lead with two laps to go and holding on to win Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway.


"I've got to tell you, when you're coming to two to go, I'm still sweating bullets, no matter how much confidence you've got," Vickers said.

Vickers won his second career race, boosted his chances of making the Chase and delivered the first checkered flag for Red Bull Racing.

It was the second time in two races at Michigan this season that Johnson's crew gambled on gas and lost. Johnson also was in the lead when he ran out of fuel back in June, handing a win to Mark Martin.

"Certainly frustrated," Johnson said. "We've won one race on fuel mileage ever. It's just what we're not good at. I think it's a little too risky for us to even try it."

Jeff Gordon finished second, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards and Sam Hornish Jr. Series points leader Tony Stewart, who clinched his spot in the Chase by starting Sunday's race, finished 17th.

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