He was honored earlier in the week in celebration of his first win 20 years ago and got his 89th career win Saturday night. With an interested pit strategy and hard racing, Jeff Gordon was able to snag the win in the 5-Hour Energy 400 at Kansas Speedway after getting in front of Kevin Harvick following a final round of pit stops.
Gordon had slipped back in the race after running in the top 10 for most of the race but got caught in the pack when a caution came out after a round of green flag pit stops. He was stagnant in the running order for a portion of the race but started battling back. During the last round of green flag pit stops, Gordon was able to pit a lap early of Harvick and his team had a better pit stop which put him in the lead. Harvick had a good run on Gordon in the last few laps but couldn’t capitalize for the win.
Jeff Gordon is now the ninth driver to make the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in the 2014 season.
Kevin Harvick dominated much of the race, but like Gordon he got caught in the middle of the pack after making a green flag pit stop and had to battle back to the front. He stayed in the 18th position for quite a while until strategy, and driving talent, got him back to the lead. It was that final pit stop that didn’t quite go Harvick’s way and he came out behind Gordon. He did a good job to fight his way back at the end but he had to settle for second place.
How about Danica Patrick? She qualified well and she raced well. She was passing cars instead of the car being passed. She would finish seventh on the day which is the best finish she’s had in her Sprint Cup career.
Ryan Blaney made his first Sprint Cup start Saturday night driving the No. 12 for Team Penske. He ALMOST got caught up in an accident on lap 47 when Clint Bowyer took a spin to bring out the first caution. Blaney expertly checked-up and maneuvered his Ford around Bowyer to avoid getting hit. Blaney got loose trying to avoid the spinning Bowyer but collected the handling and was able to finish the race.
Kurt Busch brought out the caution twice and David Gilliand and Justin Allgaier were involved in a scary crash on lap 188. Paul Menard was slowing up in the outside lane off of turn four and AJ Allmendinger thought he would take advantage and go under him for the pass. Allmendinger’s car got loose and came down the race track. He got into Justin Allgaier and Allgaier shot up the race track and hit David Gilliland. Allgaier and Gilliland were both able to walk away from their destroyed race cars, thanks to the safety innovation inside the cars and at the track. Nine caution flags flew on the night with most of the incidents caused from loose race cars.
The top ten: Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Joey Logano, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Carl Edwards, Danica Patrick, Aric Almirola, Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth.
The next race will be Friday, May 16 for the Sprint Showdown at 7 p.m. ET at Charlotte Motor Speedway with the All-Star race Saturday, May 17 at 9 p.m. ET at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Other program notes: The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race will be Friday, May 16 at 8:30 p.m. ET at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the NASCAR Nationwide Series will be Sunday, May 18 at 2 p.m. ET at Charlotte Motor Speedway.