"We had a right front tear apart," explained Gordon of his early race problems. "We actually got the car halfway decent there at the end, then it came down to saving fuel - and we obviously didn't save enough fuel."
In the Chase standings, Chicagoland's outcome means Harvick takes the early advantage in the championship thanks to his second place win building on his bonus points for four wins during the regular season, with Tony Stewart shooting into second spot by virtue of his race win at Chicagoland.
The biggest losers are Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon, all of who have been considered strong favourites for the Chase but who already have a hill to climb to get back onto level footing with the emerging leaders.
Full Chase points standings
Full race results