Gordon Pours on His Third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Victory of the Season in Michigan
BROOKLYN, Mich. - Hendrick Motorsports Jeff Gordon notched his third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory of the season and third all-time at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) by powering away from Team Penske's Joey Logano off a restart with 17 of 200 laps remaining.
Gordon has earned a victory in two of the past four series events this season. He owns eight top-five and 16 top-10 finishes through 23 events this year. He's notched 19 top-five and 27 top-10 finishes through 44 MIS NSCS starts.
"It certainly wasn't an easy victory. We struggled to get the lead at the beginning," Gordon said." Joey was fast, really fast, on the short runs and the restarts, but we were able to track him back down on the long runs.
"I didn't know if we were going to be able to pull this one off. Even with the cautions, being on that inside lane wasn't working out for us.
"That last restart was it. We had the car to win. Our car was amazing, but whoever got out in front had such a huge advantage," Gordon said. "Joey was sort of out there by himself. I was able to get to his quarter. I drug him back and was able to shoot to the bottom to get by.
"He made a heck of an effort and I thought he was going to get back by me. I needed a few laps for my tires to come in and all of the sudden we were out in front, setting sail and the checkered flag was waving."
Logano bested Gordon on consecutive restarts on Lap 26 and Lap 22, but each leading advantage was erased by respective caution periods for a Brian Vickers spin in the No. 55 Michael Waltrip car and when Kurt Busch's No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing machine made contact with the wall.
"Every time I was on the front row today, I won every single restart, except the last one, the one that paid the money," Logano added after earning "I had the restart, it went well, I had him cleared. I didn't pull out in front of him and that's where I'm going to kick myself for the next month-and-a-half about it.
"I got to him, got underneath him and once again he pulled me back down the back straightaway. When you're going into a corner on this track and you're on the bottom, it's not going to normally work out well. I was in there swattin' flies, just trying to save what I had."
Logano's plummet provided Kevin Harvick the opportunity to take aim at chasing down Gordon.
Harvick's No. 4 closed hard as it has all season, but crossed the finish line second and 1.412 seconds behind Gordon's No. 24.
"We had a solid day, the 24 had more speed than we did all day," Harvick said. "I felt like when Joey was out front, he could get away at the short run, we'd kind of even out.
But all in all, it was a good day. The main focus for our team has been consistency heading into the Chase to make sure we can scramble and do the things we've done over the last month. When you have a solid day, finish it off. Those are the things we've been able to do.
"Obviously, you want to win, but all in all we had some different goals that are as important leading into the Chase."
Logano, Paul Menard and Dale Earnhardt Jr., completed the race top five.
Gordon will hold the top spot on the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup grid as well as a two-point edge on Earnhardt Jr., in the standings entering the Aug. 23 night race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Race action returns to Kentucky Speedway Sept. 19-20 with the ARCA Racing Series Zloop 150 and NASCAR Nationwide Series VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300.
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