Michigan NASCAR: Jeff Gordon wins after Joey Logano battle
|Sunday, August 17th 2014, 20:27 GMT|
Jeff Gordon took his third NASCAR Sprint Cup win of the season at Michigan, in a race bookended by yellow flags and a dogged fight with Joey Logano.
It was a scrappy start to the race as first Kyle Busch, and then a multi-car shunt caused by contact between Danica Patrick and Jeff Burton (pictured below), prompted yellow flags, but when racing was resumed under green, it was Logano and Gordon who were the class of the field.
Trading the lead for most of the race, Logano led more than 80 laps, while Gordon spent over a quarter of the race in first position.
After a relatively quiet middle segment, the yellow flags were once again out in full force as smoke billowed from Brad Keselowski's car after a brush with the wall 35 laps from the end, followed by a trip into the barriers for Kurt Busch as he made a bid for the lead at a late restart.
When the last restart finally came, only a handful of laps remained, and Gordon took advantage of Logano's slow getaway to take the race lead.
The pair were soon scrapping with Kevin Harvick and Paul Menard, but Gordon was able to escape and Logano dropped behind Harvick to end his day in a disappointing third, just 0.032s ahead of a fastcharging Menard.
Dale Earnhardt Jr had a quiet race, finishing in fifth ahead of Clint Bowyer in sixth and Denny Hamlin in seventh, while Keselowski had a great recovery from his trouble to take eighth.
Jimmie Johnson looked to have leading pace early on, but his race was hampered by a gearshift problem that forced him to pit several times. With his pitcrew having handed Johnson a pair of pliers to locate the problem, the champion fell off the lead lap, and only regained it towards the end, ultimately finishing ninth. Greg Biffle rounded out the top 10.
Elsewhere, Kyle Larson had a day to forget, colliding with Earnhardt in the pitlane and then hitting the wall in an incident that left his Ganassi Chevrolet on fire.
Only three races now remain before the Chase begins in September at Chicagoland.
Results - 200 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 2h49m16.000s 2. Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet +1.413s 3. Joey Logano Penske Ford +3.605s 4. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet +3.637s 5. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet +6.895s 6. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota +9.608s 7. Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Toyota +10.037s 8. Brad Keselowski Penske Ford +11.997s 9. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet +12.254s 10. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford +13.611s 11. Ryan Newman Childress Chevrolet +14.635s 12. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford +15.587s 13. AJ Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Chevrolet +15.810s 14. Jamie McMurray Ganassi Chevrolet +16.295s 15. Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Ford +17.209s 16. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet +17.903s 17. Casey Mears Germain Chevrolet +19.590s 18. Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet +21.686s 19. Brian Vickers Waltrip Toyota -1 lap 20. Aric Almirola Petty Ford -1 lap 21. David Gilliland Front Row Ford -1 lap 22. Austin Dillon Childress Chevrolet -1 lap 23. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford -2 laps 24. David Ragan Front Row Ford -2 laps 25. Cole Whitt BK Toyota -2 laps 26. Alex Bowman BK Toyota -2 laps 27. Reed Sorenson Baldwin Chevrolet -3 laps 28. Josh Wise Parsons Chevrolet -3 laps 29. Landon Cassill Hillman Chevrolet -3 laps 30. JJ Yeley BK Toyota -3 laps 31. Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Chevrolet -4 laps 32. Travis Kvapil FAS Lane Ford -4 laps 33. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet -4 laps 34. Alex Kennedy Circle Sport Chevrolet -5 laps 35. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota -5 laps 36. Martin Truex Jr Furniture Row Chevrolet -23 laps* 37. Jeff Burton Stewart-Haas Chevrolet -24 laps 38. Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Toyota -30 laps 39. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota -41 laps 40. Michael Annett Baldwin Chevrolet -45 laps* 41. Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Ford -47 laps * Not running at chequered flag Retirements: Justin Allgaier HScott Chevrolet 97 laps Kyle Larson Ganassi Chevrolet 94 laps