On the final set of pit stops, Jeff Gordon took the lead from Kevin Harvick during Saturday night’s 5-Hour Energy 400 at Kansas Speedway and was able to hold off Harvick by two car lengths at the finish line and capture his 89th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career victory.
This was Gordon’s first win of the 2014 season and he is now virtually locked into the 2014 Chase. Gordon also extended his series points lead to 15 over Matt Kenseth.
“I knew we had a fast race car. We have been bringing fast race cars every single weekend. It’s just given me so much confidence in the race cars and the race team. I have got to thank Axalta Coating Systems they are an awesome sponsor. When the lights went out we could still see this thing out there. Of course AARP Drive To End Hunger, Pepsi Max, Valvoline and Chevrolet. You know Kevin (Harvick) was tough. He was so strong I did not know if I could hold him off. I almost didn’t there at the end. I caught traffic. The car just got extremely loose on me and he was just coming. Luckily that was the checkered flag.” Gordon said.
Since the win was heading into Mother’s Day, it will be a day of celebration with family.
“I’ve got to say Happy Mother’s Day. What an amazing Mother’s Day present this is going to be. I can’t wait to see my wife Ingrid and my mom tomorrow. It’s going to be an amazing celebration. What a huge weight lifted off this team’s shoulders. We have been leading the points but we needed to get to victory lane and they proved they were capable of it. Great job by them.” Gordon added.
Harvick led 119 laps but had to settle for a second place finish after he ran out of gas getting onto pit road and Gordon was able to take advantage.
“Well, the car was really fast. We just had to overcome a lot tonight, getting caught on pit road both times under green flag pit stops,” Harvick explained. “Then there at the end, we ran out of gas coming to pit road there, and 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, wound up getting stuck behind the 24. The car was really tight, and then I found a groove that worked for me way up the racetrack, and I caught him, and then I slipped and lost everything I had gained and then gained it all back and just ran out of laps at the end.”
Although he was unable to capture another victory, Harvick was satisfied with their overall result.
“I think we had a good night, he said.”You can’t win them all. For me, I made a mistake at the end and felt like that’s probably what cost us the chance to stay in front of the 24. But the 24 was good all night, and the 48 was good when he was out front, and we got in the back of the pack and couldn’t go anywhere. It came down to track position, and those guys executed a little bit better than I did.”
Kasey Kahne finished in third place followed by Joey Logano and Dale Earnhardt Jr. to round out the top five.