Gordon Gets Third Kansas Win
By: Dustin Long - @dustinlong on May 10, 2014 | 11:35 P.M. EST
Gordon celebrates his 89th career win. (Photo: Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon proved better after the final pit stop and went on to score his first win of the season, and third at Kansas Speedway, in Saturday night's 5-Hour ENERGY 400.
Kevin Harvick had one of the strongest cars and was leading before he made his final pit stop but exited behind Gordon and couldn’t get around him the rest of the race, finishing second.
“What put us in second is I just didn’t get down pit road very good,’’ Harvick said. “I was paying attention to the fuel pressure gauge instead of the pit lights.’’
Kasey Kahne placed a season-best third with Joey Logano fourth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. finishing fifth.
The first night Cup race at Kansas Speedway was delayed about 30 minutes by rain, saw a bank of backstretch lights go out and featured two multi-car crashes. It ended with Gordon, the points leader, scoring his 89th career Sprint Cup victory.
“I don’t know what it is about this team, this ’24’ car and us here at Kansas on inaugural days, but I love this place,’’ Gordon said. “What an incredible job ... by this race team. They have been giving me the best racecars all year long. I’m going to be 43 year this, but I feel like I’m 25.’’
How Gordon won: He trailed Kevin Harvick when he entered pit road for the final time with 30 laps to go. Harvick pitted a lap later. Harvick, though, returned to the track behind Gordon and never got behind him. As others pitted, they moved up and Gordon held off Harvick for the win.
What else happened: It was a crazy race in the first half with cautions interrupting green-flag pit cycles a couple of times. Kevin Harvick dominated the first 100 laps but found himself at the back because he was caught by a caution after a stop and couldn’t climb into the top 15 during his run until the next caution ... The race also featured two multi-car crashes. No one was injured.
Who else had a good day: Danica Patrick finished a caeer-best seventh. She ran as high as third at one point, passing Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Tony Stewart for third on the same lap with less than 100 laps to go. ... Kasey Kahne had not finished in the top five before placing third in this race. ... Joey Logano scored his fourth top-five finish in the last six races.
Who had a bad day: Joe Gibbs Racing had Matt Kenseth finish 10th, Kyle Busch 15th and Denny Hamlin 18th. Busch had a speeding penalty and Hamlin spun and Kenseth wasn’t much of a factor. ... Kurt Busch spun twice and finished 29th. ... David Ragan was involved in an accident for the second week in a row. Ragan told his team on the radio: “Just got a little loose ... It wasn’t (Ryan Truex’s) fault. I was completely out of the throttle trying to hang on.’’ ... David Gilliland had nowhere to go and plowed into Justin Allgaier’s car on the frontstretch with about 80 laps left after Allgaier was clipped by AJ Allmendinger and shot back up the track.
Quote of the day: “The most rewarding part of my night was when I drove around (Jimmie Johnson) on a restart,’’ Danica Patrick said.
Other notables: Ryan Blaney finished 27th in his Sprint Cup debut. .... Carl Edwards’ sixth-place finish was his best result since his win at Bristol. ... Aric Almirola placed eighth for his first top-10 result in the last five races. ... Jimmie Johnson finished ninth and has gone winless in the first 11 races of the season, tying the longest drought to open a season in his career. ... Greg Biffle finished 16th, which marks the 83rd consecutive race he’s been running at the finish, to tie Clint Bowyer’s series record.