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NASCAR: Gordon races to first win at Michigan since 2001

Published August 17, 2014 2:40 pm

NASCAR • Last win for the driver on this track was in 2001.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Brooklyn, Mich. • It had been 13 years since Jeff Gordon's last victory at Michigan — which came during the same season as his most recent championship on NASCAR's top series.

One of those droughts is finally over. Can the 43-year-old driver end the other as well?

"Certainly things are going well — there's no doubt about that," Gordon said. "I'm as shocked as anybody else."

Gordon raced to his third Sprint Cup victory of the year, holding off Kevin Harvick on Sunday for his first win at Michigan International Speedway since 2001.

Gordon broke the track qualifying record Friday when he took the pole at 206.558 mph. He followed that up with his third Cup victory at MIS — and took over the points lead from Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr.

After a series of cautions, Gordon came off the final restart well and led with 16 laps remaining. He fought off a challenge from Joey Logano and maintained a comfortable margin over Harvick, winning the 400-mile race by 1.412 seconds in his No. 24 Chevrolet.

"Joey, as we rolled up to some of the restarts — not that last one, but some of the other ones — as guys were starting to sort of anticipate it, he was slowing down, and when he slowed down, everybody got bottled up, and then he'd take off," Gordon said. "That last one, I thought he had a good start, but I had a good one, too."

Harvick was second, followed by Logano, Paul Menard and Earnhardt.

Gordon completed a sweep at MIS for Hendrick. Jimmie Johnson won the June race on the two-mile oval.

"I think all of our teams are running well, but this is a big, big win," owner Rick Hendrick said. "It's great to see Jeff so happy. He's like a little kid again, so I think it's going to be really, really important for the momentum he's carrying right now into the Chase."

Logano was second to Gordon in qualifying. He led 86 laps and Gordon was in front for 68.

"We can win a championship. I really feel we can do that.," Logano said. "We've got to find a little bit more speed to keep up with one car today — 24 car was the best, only because he was good on the long run. We weren't as good on the long run.

There were eight cautions, including a fairly early one when Danica Patrick's car spun and Justin Allgaier crashed into her. Nine cars were caught up in that incident, including Matt Kenseth's No. 20 Toyota. —

Results

At Michigan International Speedway, Mich. length: 2 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

1. (1) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 200 laps, 139.5 rating, 47 points, $213,686.

2. (6) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 200, 119.6, 42, $176,343.

3. (2) Joey Logano, Ford, 200, 135.9, 43, $164,326.

4. (7) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 200, 105.9, 40, $136,399.

5. (25) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 200, 106.9, 40, $109,900.

6. (19) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 200, 88.3, 38, $132,106.

7. (21) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 200, 92.4, 37, $108,940.

8. (5) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 200, 108.5, 37, $135,173.

9. (30) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 200, 93.8, 36, $142,151.

10. (11) Greg Biffle, Ford, 200, 94.4, 34, $133,990.

11. (12) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 200, 97.5, 34, $99,515.

12. (20) Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 200, 79.2, 32, $117,235.

13. (22) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 200, 86.5, 31, $108,448.

14. (9) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 200, 100.6, 30, $128,279.

15. (10) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 200, 80.7, 29, $126,840.

16. (15) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 200, 85.6, 29, $104,140.

17. (26) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 200, 63, 27, $112,348.

18. (14) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 200, 68.6, 26, $95,765.

19. (4) Brian Vickers, Toyota, 199, 83.5, 25, $119,565.

20. (23) Aric Almirola, Ford, 199, 66.5, 24, $125,076.

21. (29) David Gilliland, Ford, 199, 61.6, 23, $108,698.

22. (8) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 199, 72.1, 22, $133,151.

23. (3) Carl Edwards, Ford, 198, 68.4, 21, $101,865.

24. (34) David Ragan, Ford, 198, 56, 20, $105,448.

25. (36) Cole Whitt, Toyota, 198, 55.9, 19, $86,015.

26. (32) Alex Bowman, Toyota, 198, 53.2, 18, $94,562.

27. (40) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 197, 48.2, 17, $84,690.

28. (33) Josh Wise, Chevrolet, 197, 46.7, 16, $84,540.

29. (43) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 197, 44.9, 0, $83,865.

30. (31) J.J. Yeley, Toyota, 197, 32.8, 0, $82,765.

31. (16) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 196, 88.4, 14, $81,140.

32. (38) Travis Kvapil, Ford, 196, 43.5, 12, $81,040.

33. (37) Dave Blaney, Chevrolet, 195, 36.5, 11, $80,965.

34. (41) Alex Kennedy, Chevrolet, 195, 34.4, 10, $80,865.

35. (42) Joe Nemechek, Toyota, 195, 30.4, 0, $88,715.

36. (39) Martin Truex Jr., Chevrolet, accident, 177, 37.5, 8, $108,573.

37. (27) Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 176, 61.5, 7, $114,750.

38. (18) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 170, 40.3, 6, $124,941.

39. (24) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 159, 35.7, 5, $119,646.

40. (35) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, vibration, 155, 33.1, 4, $67,805.

41. (28) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 153, 28.1, 0, $63,805.

42. (17) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, accident, 97, 39.4, 2, $67,805.

43. (13) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, accident, 94, 53.6, 1, $82,650. —

Standings

1. J.Gordon —

2. Earnhardt Jr. -3

3. B. Keselowski -83

4. Joey Logano -102

5. Matt Kenseth -107

6. Kevin Harvick -129

7. Jimmie Johnson -130

8. Carl Edwards -137

8. Ryan Newman -137

10. Clint Bowyer -144

11. Greg Biffle -156

12. Kasey Kahne -165

Wins • Earnhardt Jr., 3; Gordon, 3; Johnson, 3; Keselowski, 3; Edwards, 2; Harvick, 2; Logano, 2; Allmendinger, 1; Almirola, 1; Ku.Busch, 1; Ky.Busch, 1; Hamlin, 1.