Sunday, September 28, 2014

Jeff Gordon Wins at Dover, Contender Round Set

Originally written for CLNS Radio.

Jeff Gordon won the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway as the field for the second round of the Chase was set on Sunday.
Photo courtesy Todd Warshaw/Getty Images
Gordon led 94 laps on his way to the victory, but he did not have the dominant car for most of the race.  Kevin Harvick led 223 laps before cutting a left-front tire and settling for a 13th place finish.

Gordon took the lead on lap 305 and dominated the remainder of the race, clinching his spot in the next round of the Chase.

“We came in here with a little bit of extra pressure because we weren’t guaranteed to be in,” Gordon said.  “It’s about making a statement, and I don’t know how you make a bigger statement than what this team just did.”

Harvick won the pole for the race, and he led the first 148 laps before giving up the lead to Brad Keselowski.

Keselowski led until debris brought out the caution on lap 171.  Harvick’s team got him off pit road first, and he regained the lead.

Harvick set sail once again when the race restarted, and he led until a round of pit stops on lap 250.  Following pit stops, Harvick was leading when he cut down a left-front tire that ended his chances at the victory.

Keselowski led following a caution for debris, and he led for 45 more laps, before Gordon chased him down and took the lead.  He led throughout the final round of green-flag pit stops, and he won his fourth race of the season.

Unofficial results:

1. Jeff Gordon
2. Brad Keselowski
3. Jimmie Johnson
4. Joey Logano
5. Matt Kenseth
6. Kyle Larson
7. Martin Truex Jr.
8. Ryan Newman
9. Clint Bowyer
10. Kyle Busch
11. Carl Edwards
12. Denny Hamlin
13. Kevin Harvick
14. Tony Stewart
15. Brian Vickers
16. Paul Menard
17. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
18. Kurt Busch
19. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
20. Kasey Kahne
21. Greg Biffle
22. Jamie McMurray
23. AJ Allmendinger
24. Austin Dillon
25. Danica Patrick
26. Marcos Ambrose
27. Casey Mears
28. Aric Almirola
29. Justin Allgaier
30. Cole Whitt
31. David Ragan
32. Reed Sorenson
33. David Gilliland
34. Alex Bowman
35. Landon Cassill
36. Mike Bliss
37. David Stremme
38. Travis Kvapil
39. JJ Yeley
40. Mike Wallace
41. Michael Annett
42. Josh Wise
43. Timmy Hill

The Challenger round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup ended on Sunday, setting up the 12 drivers who will compete over the next three races in the Contender round.  AJ Allmendinger, Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle and Aric Almirola were eliminated from the championship hunt following Sunday’s race at Dover.

Below are the 12 drivers competing in the Contender Round.

1. Brad Keselowski
2. Joey Logano
3. Jeff Gordon
4. Kevin Harvick
5. Jimmie Johnson
6. Kyle Busch
7. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
8. Matt Kenseth
9. Ryan Newman
10. Carl Edwards
11. Denny Hamlin
12. Kasey Kahne

Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Kansas Speedway.  The Hollywood Casino 400 can be seen next Sunday at 2:00 p.m. EST on ESPN.

Photo courtesy Sarah Glenn/Getty Images

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