And in fourth place, James Hinchcliffe's run puts him into the lead of the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award, just ahead of JR Hildebrand - but like the two remaining championship contenders, the rookies have it all to play for going into Vegas as well.
"Certainly it's nice to go into the last race of the year a little bit up [in points] but at the end of the day there is still a lot that can happen," said Hinchcliffe. "As you can see JR was ahead of us on track at one point during the day and so many things can happen to throw you off. It just proves how tough these races are; its really about being there at the end. We'll take it!"
Vegas will have another attraction in the form of Dan Wheldon's attempt to run from the back to win the race and claim a $5m prize to share with a fan. Wheldon could only manage 14th at Kentucky from the same back row start.
"It was eventful," said Wheldon. "It kept me busy, but that happens when you start from the back. By the same token we were able to move forward in the Bowers & Wilkins at Magnolia car, we just didn't seem to quite have the speed and the balance necessary to get right to the front ... That's experience that is invaluable."
Full race results