Matt Kenseth held off Kasey Kahne to win his first race in his third start for Joe Gibbs Racing following an off-season move from Roush Racing. The 2003 NASCAR champion beat Kahne despite having older tires.
Jeff Gordon had a frustrating day where he battled handling issues en route to a sub-par 25th place effort. This is the third time in the last 4 years that Gordon has started a season with two finishes below 19th in the first 3 races.
Gordon started 10th and dropped a spot in the opening laps. As the run progressed, he moved to 9th by lap 10. However, he battled a loose handling car and dropped to 13th on lap 18. He fell to 15th by lap 40 while searching for grip on the track. Gordon came to pit road for a green flag stop on lap 46. Following adjustments he returned to the race in 16th place. As Gordon was in danger of going a lap down while running less than 2 seconds ahead of race leader Kasey Kahne in 17th place, NASCAR opted to throw a debris caution on lap 66. Pit stops ensued with Gordon restarting in 17th place on lap 71. The handling didn’t improve and Gordon ran distantly behind the leader in 18th place by the 100-lap mark.
As Gordon was about to go a lap down, he came to pit road for a green flag stop on lap 118. Gordon returned to the event one lap down. He slipped back to 20th by lap 135. A caution on lap 160 allowed Gordon to come to pit road for more adjustments. Gordon restarted in 16th place — the first car one lap down. However, Tony Stewart went by to send Gordon back to 17th place with 85 laps to go. A caution for Bobby Labonte’s spin with 73 to go allowed Gordon to take the wave around and get back on the lead lap. However, he dropped two laps down when he pitted under green with 48 laps to go. Gordon ran 23nd when the caution waved with 44 laps to go for Travis Kvapil’s engine. Gordon stayed out for another wave around to get to one lap down. Gordon dropped to 26th after the restart. A caution for Ryan Newman’s blown engine with 32 laps to go slowed the field. Gordon stayed out and restarted in 21st place. In the closing stages, Gordon fell to 23rd with 19 to go. Four laps later, he dropped to 25th where he finished the event.
Gordon battled handling issues for the balance of the day. The only turning point was the lack of true turning ability on the #24 car.
Run time: 15:12
File Size: 1.7mb
[audio:http://www.scannerbytes.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Jeff-Gordon-2013-03-10-Kobalt-Tools-400-Las-Vegas.mp3|titles=2012-03-10 – Jeff Gordon – Kobal Tools 400]
MP3 Download – with spotter chatter
Run time: 34:16
File Size: 3.9mb
[audio:http://www.scannerbytes.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Jeff-Gordon-2013-03-10-Kobalt-Tools-400-Las-Vegas-with-spotter-chatter.mp3|titles=2012-03-10 – Jeff Gordon – Kobal Tools 400 – with spotter chatter]