Pocono NASCAR: Kahne triumphs after late battle with Gordon
|By Connell Sanders Jr||Sunday, August 4th 2013, 20:37 GMT|
Kasey Kahne defeated Hendrick team-mate Jeff Gordon in a late battle for NASCAR Sprint Cup victory at Pocono.
Kahne had taken charge of the final stages of the race and was leading Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr in an increasingly spread-out all-Hendrick top three when a debris caution with 12 laps to go erased his seven second lead.
Gordon pounced at the restart and managed to inch ahead of Kahne after a long side-by-side battle.
The four-time champion seemed to be pulling sufficiently clear to take his first win of 2013, but another caution when Matt Kenseth spun set up a green-white-chequered finish.
Kahne initially made a bad getaway, but then carried huge speed down the outside into Turn 1 and made it back into the lead by Turn 2.
He then broke clear to win by 1.3 seconds over Gordon.
Kurt Busch was a frontrunner all day and claimed third for Furniture Row, ahead of Indianapolis winner Ryan Newman and Earnhardt.
Hendrick's dominant championship leader Jimmie Johnson had a rare bad day. He led most of the first half of the race, until a right-front tyre blow sent him sliding into the wall.
Progress was slow in his repaired Chevrolet, but he ultimately recovered to 13th.
Champion Brad Keselowski had his strongest race in a while and was fighting with Kahne and the Busch brothers up front for a spell.
Choosing to take four tyres when rivals took two at a mid-race pitstop dropped him out of contention, as he found himself 15th and unable to regain much ground.
He salvaged sixth at the flag, having got back in the hunt by only changing two tyres at the final stops.
The race featured plenty of incident. Denny Hamlin was among the other drivers to have solo crashes, while Juan Pablo Montoya and Ricky Stenhouse Jr tangled at the first corner of the race and Danica Patrick later triggered another multi-car shunt with a mid-pack spin.
Results - 160 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 3h06m02.000s 2. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet +1.392s 3. Kurt Busch Furniture Row Chevrolet +1.948s 4. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet +2.425s 5. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet +2.747s 6. Brad Keselowski Penske Ford +2.987s 7. Joey Logano Penske Ford +3.175s 8. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota +4.191s 9. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet +4.364s 10. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford +4.774s 11. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford +4.930s 12. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford +5.234s 13. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet +5.582s 14. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota +5.592s 15. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota +5.713s 16. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet +6.080s 17. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet +6.200s 18. Mark Martin Waltrip Toyota +6.506s 19. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota +6.746s 20. Aric Almirola Petty Ford +7.064s 21. David Ragan Front Row Ford +7.380s 22. Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Toyota +7.459s 23. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet +7.636s 24. Casey Mears Germain Ford +7.825s 25. JJ Yeley Baldwin Chevrolet +8.641s 26. Travis Kvapil BK Toyota +23.806s 27. Timmy Hill FAS Lane Ford +2 laps 28. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet +3 laps 29. Landon Cassill Circle Sport Chevrolet +3 laps Retirements: David Stremme Swan Toyota 151 laps David Reutimann BK Toyota 141 laps Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 127 laps AJ Allmendinger Phoenix Chevrolet 122 laps Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Ford 113 laps Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 110 laps Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 109 laps Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 55 laps Tony Raines Circle Sport Chevrolet 53 laps David Gilliland Front Row Ford 51 laps Michael McDowell Parsons Ford 44 laps Josh Wise Front Row Ford 44 laps Alex Kennedy Humphrey Smith Toyota 22 laps Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Toyota 14 laps