After only two cautions in the first half of the event, the race began to pick up in intensity with 97 laps to go, when a yellow flag flew for debris in turn one.
At that point, all four of the title contenders were running in the top 10 as they hit pit road, where Kyle Larson beat the rest of the field back onto the race track and held the lead with 89 laps to go when green flag conditions resumed.
On the restart, Joey Logano used a huge run up the outside lane to charge from fourth and pass Carl Edwards for the runner-up spot and the championship lead, after Edwards had led the points for all but 10 laps to that point.
Undeterred, Edwards maintained his focus and passed Logano back for position on lap 205, making the move in turn one just before Ryan Blaney smacked the wall in turn two to bring the caution out for the fourth time.
That drew the leaders down pit road again, seeing Kyle Busch pass Edwards during the exchange to line up third behind Larson and Logano for the next restart, which came with 55 laps left.
As the speeds picked up, Busch began to charge. Rallying from a right front tire issue on lap 137 that left him a lap down at the time, Busch ascended to the top of the points for the first time all race long when he surged past Logano for the runner-up position in turn three on the restart.
But his teammate was far from done. After falling back to fifth on-track due to a poor pit stop, Edwards began to patiently and methodically charge forward. It took him 19 laps into the run, but he moved back into third and around Logano with 36 laps remaining, giving chase to Busch as Larson led by more than two seconds out front.
With 26 laps to go, Edwards was there, right on the back bumper of Busch. One lap later, he was into second and leading the championship again.
But the chaos wasn’t quite done, after problems for Dylan Lupton brought the caution back out with 15 laps left and set up a barn-burner to the finish for the third-consecutive year.
All the leaders pitted, with Larson leading while Edwards, Logano and Johnson lined up nose-to-tail on the inside lane. To the outside, it was Busch as the third car in line as all four drivers geared up for the restart of their lives.
The green flag flew with 10 laps left … and all hell broke loose.
Logano tried to shoot three-wide to the bottom of the race track, but Edwards threw the block as the duo raced for turn one and came across Logano’s nose, pounding the inside wall nose-first before coming back up into traffic and being shoved airborne when Kasey Kahne slammed into him.
Amid the carnage, Martin Truex Jr. rolled to a stop in a massive fireball and Regan Smith was collected, but all eyes were on Edwards as he climbed from his car.
Edwards declined an ambulance ride to the care center, instead walking to Logano’s pit, climbing onto the pit box and shaking crew chief Todd Gordon’s hand as he asked Gordon to tell Logano the incident was: “One hundred percent my fault.”