Gordon Triumphs at Michigan
By: Dustin Long - @dustinlong on August 17, 2014 | 4:11 P.M. EST
Jeff Gordon celebrates for the third time at Michigan and for the third time of the season. (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)
Jeff Gordon passed Joey Logano for the lead on a restart with 17 laps to go to win Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
The victory is Gordon's third of the season and 91st of his career. Kevin Harvick finished second - his fourth consecutive runner-up finish at Michigan. Logano finished third with Paul Menard fourth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. fifth.
The victory was Gordon's first at Michigan since June 2001, leading him to radio his crew after his burnout: "How do I get to Victory Lane?"
The key moment was the last restart. Logano was the leader but Gordon charged by on the inside.
"I had (Gordon) cleared,'' Logano said. "I should have pulled down in front of him. He got next to me, and I couldn't get away.''
Said Gordon: "I got a really good restart, and I got to his quarter panel in Turn 1 and I was able to drag him back and it allowed me to get the momentum and get by him."
How Gordon won: Jeff Gordon had arguably the best car. While his restarts have been questioned in the past, he again delivered a race-winning restart late - just as he did at Indianapolis.
What else happened: Much of the action happened on the restarts. Jeff Gordon’s winning move came on the final restart. ... Kurt Busch battled Joey Logano for the lead with 23 laps to go but bounced off the wall, ending his hopes for a second win of the season. Busch finished 31st. ... Danica Patrick spun on a Lap 25 restart, collecting eight other cars.
Who else had a good day: Kevin Harvick’s runner-up finish gives him four consecutive top-10 runs this season - his longest stretch of the season. ... Paul Menard’s fourth-place finish matches what he did at this track in June. ... Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s fifth-place finish marks his ninth top-10 finish in the last 11 races. ... Denny Hamlin’s seventh-place is his fifth top-10 finish in the last six races.
Who had a bad day: Kyle Busch hit the wall after the third lap and went to the garage, continuing a miserable stretch for him. He finished 39th. He was 42nd at Pocono two weeks ago and 40th at Watkins Glen last weekend. ... Kyle Larson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. made contact on pit road on Lap 22 and the damage slowed Larson the rest of the race. Larson later crashed just before halfway and placed last in the 43-car field. ... Jeff Burton, driving for Tony Stewart, had electrical issues and finished 37th.
Quote of the day: “I won every single restart on the front row but the last one. It’s frustrating,’’ Joey Logano said.
Notables: Danica Patrick recovered from an early spin to finish 18th - her best finish since placing eighth at Daytona last month. ... Jeff Gordon’s win gives Hendrick Motorsports eight wins in the last 13 races. ... Roush Fenway Racing’s Greg Biffle finished 10th. The June Michigan race snapped Roush’s streak of 27 consecutive races there with at least one car in the top 10. ... AJ Allmendinger, who won last weekend at Watkins Glen, placed 13th. It’s his best finish at an unrestricted track 1.5 miles or longer since placing eighth at Auto Club Speedway in March.