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NASCAR At Indy: Late Caution Sets Up Another Fuel Dash

Just as with last year's Brickyard 400, a late yellow flag may lead to a fuel-mileage race to the finish in the 2012 edition.

Jeff Burton blew a tire to draw out the caution with 36 laps remaining. That is a few laps outside the teams' pit window, meaning everyone will either need another pit stop to make it to the checkered flag or will try to stretch their gas mileage by slowing their pace way down.

The same strategy netted Paul Menard's maiden - and only - Sprint Cup victory a year ago. He was one of several drivers who slowed their pace considerably over the last stretch of the race after topping off on fuel during the last yellow flag. Jeff Gordon made a valiant charge, closing the gap Menard had built when the No. 24 Chevy hit pit road to within one second, but came one or two laps shy of his fifth Brickyard 400 win.

Gordon was second at the caution flag, behind the dominant mount of teammate Jimmie Johnson. The five-time Sprint Cup champ, who started sixth, has led 70 laps and all but clinched the extra bonus point for leading the most laps. Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, and Greg Biffle rounded out the top-five at the yellow.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.