Gordons Kind Of Town

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JOLIET, Ill. - Cross Chicagoland Speedway off the list of tracks where Jeff Gordon hadn't won a NEXTEL Cup Series race.

And cross Gordon off Matt Kenseth's Christmas list.

Gordon scored a controversial victory in Sunday's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series USG 400 at Chicagoland Speedway after a late race incident with Kenseth.

It was Gordon's 75th career NEXTEL Cup Series win, one behind Dale Earnhardt on the all-time list. Only Texas, Phoenix and Homestead remain on Gordon's list of track where he's never won a Cup race.

For the second year, Kenseth led the most laps and had a dominating car. He looked like he was heading to his second victory of the year until Gordon made a late charge and pulled to Kenseth's rear bumper with three laps to go.

As the duo raced through turn two, Gordon made contact with Kenseth sending the No. 17 USG Ford spinning into the infield and taking away his shot at winning.

"That wasn't an accident," Kenseth said about the incident, the second between the two this season after the duo's tangle and ensuing shoving match on pit road at Bristol back in March.

"He just ran over me. On the re-start he was hanging back and NASCAR has a rule you can't hang back two car lengths or one car length, although I've never seen it enforced. But he was hanging back because I was a little weak on re-starts and trying to get me and then I could drive away."

"Or apparently he was mad because I blocked him on that re-start when he got a run, but, I don't know. It's just the way it goes I guess."

Gordon, however, claims the contact wasn't at all intentional.

"No doubt on the long runs we had the best car and I hate to win one like that," Gordon said, who won his second race in the last three starts. "Matt ran a great race and we had trouble at Bristol and I got in there hard and he blocked me a couple of times and I jumped back in the gas."

"I think Matt knew that he blocked me on the restart, if I wanted to spin him I could have spun him then."

The controversial incident set-up a green-white-checkered finish and Gordon drove away from the field when the green flag flew and easily took the checkered flag ahead Jeff Burton, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

"While it’s a whole lot more fun to win without controversy, it’s still fun to win" said Gordon. "Matt’s got to understand that he’s in the Chase and we were out.…When I got to his bumper there was going to be action. We need wins, we need momentum and we need to be in the Chase."

Jimmie Johnson, Reed Sorenson, Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer and J.J. Yeley.

Kenseth's day actually got worse when he and David Stremme crashed racing across the start-finish line at the end of the race, giving him a 22nd place finish.

"I was racing for 20th, or whatever I was racing for, and I got outside of Stremme and, I don’t know, he just ran up to the wall like I wasn’t there," Kenseth said. "So, I cut left to go underneath him and from there I just pretty much lost the car myself. I cut left to go underneath him and he didn’t leave much room on that side, either, so I probably should’ve just let him have 20th place."

That allowed Johnson to stretch his point lead to 51 over Kenseth with Earnhardt, Jr., Burton and Kasey Kahne rounding out the Top 5. Gordon moved to tenth in the standings.

The NEXTEL Cup Series now heads to New Hampshire International Speedway next Sunday.

        

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