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Denny! And, man, if this Texas 500 didn't have enough action for you.....

  Denny Hamlin celebrates his eighth victory of the season, and his new status as Sprint Cup tour points leader (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)



   By Mike Mulhern

    FORT WORTH, Texas
   Talk about a wild NASCAR day in the wild, wild west.....
   Denny Hamlin rallied to win Sunday's Texas 500 after dominating Greg Biffle lost second gear late in the four-hour race, and that, coupled with an off-day for Jimmie Johnson, puts Hamlin into the stock car racing tour points lead with just two races left this season.
   So Hamlin sports a new 33-point lead over Johnson, and 59-point lead over Kevin Harvick, third man in this three-man championship battle for the Sprint Cup, as the NASCAR tour heads to Phoenix

– where Johnson has a superb finishing average of 4.9 over the past four years, much better than either of his two rivals.
   But that might not even be the hottest story of the gorgeous Texas afternoon:
   -- An angry Jeff Gordon got into a very heated altercation with Jeff Burton, shoving him hard several times after the two crashed hard. And Gordon said he'd planned to get even more physical with Burton but he'd had a moment to cool down some.
   -- That followed another series of incidents between NASCAR and Kyle Busch, who got heavily penalized by NASCAR "for unsportsmanlike conduct," for making an obscene gesture in his car after a pit road speeding penalty. That gesture might have been waved off it had not been caught by ESPN's in-car camera.
   Busch had angrily complained Saturday afternoon about a NASCAR no-call on a late restart in which Busch charged that Carl Edward had jumped the green flag. Busch raised that issue in Sunday's pre-race drivers' meeting.
   "Hey, I heard there was a fight today," runner-up Matt Kenseth asked. "Did everyone take their helmets off?"
   After the Gordon-Burton battle, Johnson's crew chief Chad Knaus pulled a stunning move -- essentially firing his pit crew and bringing Gordon's crew over to pit Johnson's car the rest of the race. "I feel terrible for my guys that we had to make a change," Johnson said. To which Knaus added "We needed to do something. It's sad we had to do that. Hopefully we can get back to the shop and get it all straightened out and get our 48 crew back in here."
   Knaus' move followed a series of slow pit stops.
   Johnson managed to finish ninth, three spots behind Harvick.

  And the big screen in the infield caught all the action between Jeff Burton and Jeff Gordon for the crowd of some 156,000 (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)
         The results of Sunday's Texas AAA 500



 Denny Hamlin and crew chief Mike Ford: atop the Sprint Cup standings heading to Phoenix for Round Nine of NASCAR's 10-race championship chase (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

I don't understand how you

I don't understand how you can replace a pit crew halfway thru a race. It would be the same as bringing in a new team halfway thru a football or baseball game!

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