Fort Worth, TX (KAIT) - Batesville's Mark Martin entered the Dickies 500 trailing Jimmie Johnson by 184 points.
But a wreck on Lap 3 changed the complexion of the Chase.
Sam Hornish Jr. lost control of his car in Turn 2, made contact with Johnson twice, and the three-time defending Sprint Cup Champion ended up on the inside wall with heavy damage.
The Lowe's crew patched up the car, Johnson finished 38th, 129 laps down.
Martin didn't lead any laps today, but stayed out of trouble on the track to finish 4th. The result cut 111 points into Johnson's Sprint Cup lead.
Jimmie Johnson now leads Mark Martin by 73 points.
Kyle Busch entered today's race looking for history. No one had won all three national NASCAR races on the same weekend. Busch won the Truck and Nationwide series races this weekend, but was beaten by his older brother.
Kurt Busch led 89 laps, and ran out of gas after coming across the finish line.
It's Kurt's second win this season.
With two races to go, the Sprint Cup heads to the desert. Coverage of the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 starts next Sunday at 1:30pm right here on KAIT.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Points Standings (33 of 36 races)
1. Jimmie Johnson 6297 points
2. Mark Martin -73
3. Jeff Gordon -112
4. Kurt Busch (+2) -171
5. Tony Stewart -178
6. Juan Montoya (-2) -236
7. Greg Biffle -247
8. Denny Hamlin (+3) -322
9. Ryan Newman (-1) -324
10. Kasey Kahne (-1) -399