Racingone Rewind: Chicago

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JOLIET, Ill. - A look back at Jeff Gordon's 75th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series win in Sunday's USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicagoland Speedway including news, notes and observations by RacingOne's own Pete Pistone and Jeff Wackerlin.

RacingOneCast
Click Here to view RacingOne's recap (Window's Media) of today's USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicago Speedway brought to you by racetickets.com.

Inside Line
Jeff Gordon scored his second win of the season after a late race incident with Matt Kenseth in the USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Keys to Victory Lane
Gordon touched leader Kenseth's rear bumper with three laps to go, spinning out the Wisconsin driver and ending his chance at victory. Gordon then held off Jeff Burton on a green-white checkered finish.

Zero to Hero
Defending race winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. started 25th and brought home The Budweiser Chevrolet fifth. Clint Bowyer started 38th and was involved in an incident with Ryan Newman and Michael Waltrip, but brought home the Jack Daniels Chevrolet ninth.

Hero to Zero
Kenseth is the obvious choice, but Tony Stewart was running third until running out of gas on the last lap and finished 32nd.

Notables
Kyle Busch started 23rd and came home third. Greg Biffle started 27th, led Happy Hour on Saturday and finished 11th. And Robby Gordon took the green flag 30th and posted a 19th.

Rookie of the Race
Reed Sorenson led early and was the best finishing rookie at seventh.

What's the Points?
Jimmie Johnson's lead over Kenseth grew to 51 with Earnhardt, Jr., Jeff Burton and Kasey Kahne rounding out the top five.

Pit Stops
  • Jeff Gordon captured his 75th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series win in his 455th start and first at Chicagoland Speedway. The win was also his fourth top five in six starts at the 1.5-mile track. Detailed Active Driver Wins
  • Gordon won the 145th race for car owner Rick Hendrick. Detailed Active Car Owner Wins
  • Gordon became the first driver to win at Chicago from the 13th starting position. Only two times has a winner come from within the top 10 at Chicago. Starting Position Facts
  • Gordon led four times for 20 laps. Matt Kenseth led the most with 112. Lap Summary
  • Gordon added to Chevrolet's lead in victories in 2006 by given them their 10th win of the season. It was also the 583rd overall win for Chevy. All-Time Manufacturer Wins
  • Jeff Burton's second-place finish was his first top five at Chicago in seven starts.
  • Kyle Busch bumped his Chicago finishing average down to 8.5 with his third-place finish.
  • Kevin Harvick (fourth) captured his fourth top 10 at Chicago in his sixth start.
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. followed-up his 2005 Chicago victory with a fifth-place finish - his third top five at the 1.5-mile speedway.
  • Jimmie Johnson (sixth) has now finished sixth or better in his five Chicago starts.
  • Reed Sorenson was the top finishing rookie in seventh.
  • Kurt Busch finished eighth, his fourth finish of eighth or better at Chicago.
  • Clint Bowyer and J.J. Yeley made it three rookies in the top 10, finishing ninth and 10th, respectively.
  • The 270-lap race saw 18 lead changes among 10 drivers and an average speed of 132.077 mph.
  • Eight caution flags were thrown for 34 laps.
  • The USG Sheetrock 400 lasted 3 hours, 3 minutes, 59 seconds.

    Lug Nuts
  • How cute, Gordon's fiance Ingrid Vandebosch brought her Jeff Gordon teddy bear to victory lane.
  • The Chicagoland crowd must have been full of nearby Wisconsin fans based on the boos hurled Gordon's way in victory lane.
  • Gordon is one away from tying Dale Earnhardt on the all-time win list. He better get ready for more boos when that happens.
  • Kasey Kahne's undefeated chassis No. 128 is now 4-1 in 2006.
  • Senior Editor Jeff Wackerlin caught a "sneak preview" of the Talladega Nights movie and will have more as the release date of August 4th nears. Two thumbs up appears to be a lock.
  • John C. Reilly must have brought on the Days of Thunder type finish. Reilly was in attendance with the cast of Talladega Nights today at the speedway. He plays Ricky Bobby's (Will Ferrell) teammate in the movie where the two use a slingshot move, nicknamed the "Shake and Bake", to win races.
  • Another Wisconsin native didn't have a good day, with Todd Kluever finishing 41st in his Cup Series debut.

    Garage Talk
  • "I needed to win one like that. This had nothing to do with what happened at Bristol." - Jeff Gordon
  • "If NASCAR doesn't handle it, then we need to handle it. And that's OK." -Jeff Burton on rough driving penalties.
  • "We just got spun out, I guess." - Robbie Reiser
  • "NASCAR brings you into its trailer and gives you the speech to stay away and he's (Gordon) not going to do anything the next week or the week after. He'll wait. So I know it was intentional." - Matt Kenseth

    RacingOne Rating
    On a scale of 1 to 10 slices of Chicago's famous deep dish pizza we'll give Sunday's USG Sheetrock 400 an eight. It may have started out as a snoozer, but boy the finish was worth the wait. The Gordon-Kenseth rivalry is turning into one of the best in recent memory and with the added pressure of making the "Chase" in the equation, the next few weeks should be interesting. For races that sometimes drone on, Chicagoland has provided its share of excitement in its six-year history. Now let's hope we can bottle some of that drama up and ship it to New England where the series heads next, to the not-always exciting New Hampshire International Speedway.
    
            
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