TALLADEGA, Ala. - One thing was clear about the outcome: Richard Childress, the team owner, won.
But the winning driver as it turned out took a little longer to reveal.
Finally, NASCAR announced it: Clint Bowyer was the winner of Sunday's Amp 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
And that meant redemption.
While Bowyer is one of the 12 drivers in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, he is pretty much out of the championship picture after a 150-point penalty following his win at New Hampshire in September.
Bowyer desperately wanted another win to atone for that one. Now, he has it.
Bowyer's RCR teammate, Kevin Harvick finished second and David Reutimann third.
Jimmie Johnson continues to lead the series points standings by two points over Denny Hamlin.
Sunday's race appeared to pick up where the spring race at Talladega left off as 10 different drivers led the first 13 laps.
Early in the first green-flag run of the race, Tony Stewart was forced to pit under green with a flat tire and eventually fell two laps down.
On Lap 69, Brad Keselowski and AJ Allmendinger made contact in the tri-oval with Allmendinger taking a spin into the infield grass to bring out the first caution of the race. All of the lead lap cars pit for tires and fuel. On the restart on Lap 74, Matt Kenseth took over the lead followed by Kurt Busch and Jamie McMurray.
During a long green-flag run, Chase contender Hamlin, who was running around in the back of the pack, lost the draft and fell a lap down.
At the halfway point, with 94 of 188 laps completed, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was leading followed by Jeff Burton, Juan Pablo Montoya, McMurray and Harvick.
Teams began another round of green-flag stops on Lap 111 and when they were completed on Lap 117, Reutimann was in the lead, followed by Marcos Ambrose, Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson and Earnhardt.
Earnhardt had worked well with Jeff Burton much of the race but the two collided on Lap 134 to bring out the second caution of the race, bringing an early end to both drivers' races.
Once again, all the lead lap cars pit for fuel and tires with Montoya taking over the lead on Lap 139.
It wasn't two laps before another more serious wreck erupted which collected a total of six drivers - Montoya, Harvick, Bowyer, Ambrose, Bill Elliott and Robert Richardson Jr.
Under the caution, the leaders pit for fuel and tires again, with Joey Logano taking over the lead on the restart on Lap 146, followed by Kurt Busch, Paul Menard, Kyle Busch and Regan Smith. After pitting for repairs, Harvick restarted 26th on the restart.
Debris brought out the fourth caution of the race on Lap 152 and most lead-lap cars elected to pit again. On the restart on Lap 156, Martin Truex Jr. held the lead followed by Montoya, Logano, Kurt Busch and Kenseth.
With 20 laps remaining, Kyle Busch held the lead followed by Hamlin, Kenseth, Montoya and Logano.
© 2010, The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.)