NASCAR: Gordon claims his first win of 2014 in Kansas

NASCAR: Gordon claims his first win of 2014 in Kansas

Cup Series

NASCAR: Gordon claims his first win of 2014 in Kansas

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Jeff Gordon claimed his first NASCAR Sprint Cup victory of 2014 by overcoming Kevin Harvick in Saturday night’s Kansas Speedway race.

Polesitter Harvick had a dominant car for much of the evening, and managed to recover from 18th to first after being disadvantaged when a yellow came out just after he had made a green-flag pit stop. Getting back through the field following that impediment took Stewart-Haas driver Harvick 106 laps, but once up front again he resumed pulling away from the field and looked to have the race in the bag.

That was until the final pit stops, when coming in a lap earlier helped Gordon’s Hendrick Chevrolet leapfrog Harvick, who lost a little momentum as his car ran dry coming into the pitlane. He rallied in the closing moments, surging forward amid traffic and getting within a tenth of Gordon across the line, but he could not deny the four-time champion an 89th Cup series win.

“I was looking at the fuel pressure gauge instead of the tach and lost a bunch of time down pit road and off of pit road and wound up getting stuck behind the 24,” Harvick said.

Although Gordon had arrived at Kansas leading the championship, under the 2014 system he was not certain of making the Chase cut until he got a victory under his belt. He left Kansas with a 15-point lead over second-place Matt Kenseth.

“It’s a weight lifted off this team’s shoulders,” Gordon said. “We’ve been leading the points but we needed to get to Victory Lane.

“This has always been one of my favorite tracks,” Gordon added. “This was a very, very special win.”

A full 10 seconds behind the lead battle, Kasey Kahne held off Joey Logano, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards and Danica Patrick for third. Kahne, Logano, Earnhardt and Jimmie Johnson – who ended up ninth on an alternate strategy – were the other drivers who led significant portions of the race, while seventh was a career-best finish for Patrick after a very competitive performance.

Results - 267 laps:

Pos  Driver              Team/Car                     Time/Gap
 1.  Jeff Gordon         Hendrick Chevrolet       3h07m31.000s
 2.  Kevin Harvick       Stewart-Haas Chevrolet        +0.112s
 3.  Kasey Kahne         Hendrick Chevrolet           +10.851s
 4.  Joey Logano         Penske Ford                  +11.344s
 5.  Dale Earnhardt Jr   Hendrick Chevrolet           +12.359s
 6.  Carl Edwards        Roush Fenway Ford            +13.273s
 7.  Danica Patrick      Stewart-Haas Chevrolet       +13.628s
 8.  Aric Almirola       Petty Ford                   +15.539s
 9.  Jimmie Johnson      Hendrick Chevrolet           +15.989s
10.  Matt Kenseth        Joe Gibbs Toyota             +19.126s
11.  Ryan Newman         Childress Chevrolet          +20.603s
12.  Kyle Larson         Ganassi Chevrolet            +24.520s
13.  Brad Keselowski     Penske Ford                  +25.616s
14.  Brian Vickers       Waltrip Toyota               +28.097s
15.  Kyle Busch          Joe Gibbs Toyota             +29.623s
16.  Greg Biffle         Roush Fenway Ford            +30.018s
17.  Paul Menard         Childress Chevrolet            +1 lap
18.  Denny Hamlin        Joe Gibbs Toyota               +1 lap
19.  Austin Dillon       Childress Chevrolet            +1 lap
20.  Tony Stewart        Stewart-Haas Chevrolet         +1 lap
21.  Martin Truex Jr     Furniture Row Chevrolet        +1 lap
22.  Ricky Stenhouse Jr  Roush Fenway Ford             +2 laps
23.  Clint Bowyer        Waltrip Toyota                +3 laps
24.  Marcos Ambrose      Petty Ford                    +3 laps
25.  Michael Annett      Baldwin Chevrolet             +3 laps
26.  Casey Mears         Germain Chevrolet             +3 laps
27.  Ryan Blaney         Penske Ford                   +4 laps
28.  Cole Whitt          BK Toyota                     +4 laps
29.  Kurt Busch          Stewart-Haas Chevrolet        +4 laps
30.  AJ Allmendinger     JTG Daugherty Chevrolet       +4 laps
31.  Joe Nemechek        Robinson Toyota               +5 laps
32.  Reed Sorenson       Baldwin Chevrolet             +6 laps
33.  Josh Wise           Parsons Ford                  +6 laps
34.  Travis Kvapil       FAS Lane Ford                 +9 laps
35.  Alex Bowman         BK Toyota                    +10 laps

Retirements:

     Justin Allgaier     HScott Chevrolet             186 laps
     David Gilliland     Front Row Ford               184 laps
     David Ragan         Front Row Ford               171 laps*
     Jamie McMurray      Ganassi Chevrolet            149 laps
     Timmy Hill          Circle Sport Chevrolet       137 laps
     JJ Yeley            Xxxtreme Toyota              136 laps
     Landon Cassill      Hillman Chevrolet             63 laps
     Ryan Truex          BK Toyota                     57 laps

* Running again at chequered flag

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