Jimmie Johnson dominated the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway leading more than half of the event en route to his 8th career win on the 1-mile track. Jeff Gordon posted a 4th place finish and moved into a tie for 4th in the series standings.
Gordon started 16th and moved up to 12th place by lap 25. He advanced to 11th prior to the first caution on lap 37 for debris. Pit stops followed with Gordon restarting in 12th place on lap 41. He moved into the top-10 by lap 60 and ran 9th on lap 70. At the 100-lap mark, Gordon ran in 7th place as the #24 car seemed at its best on longer runs. He led two laps prior to green flag pit stops on lap 125 — the fifth consecutive race Gordon has led. Following stops he ran in 8th place, but was unable to make headway over the next 40 laps. A debris caution on lap 164 brought the lead lap cars to pit road. Gordon restarted in 7th place on lap 170. After slipping to 9th on the restart, Gordon rallied back to run 7th at the halfway point.
Gordon took 6th from Ryan Newman on lap 224 as the car improved on the long run. A caution on lap 227 for Brad Keselowski’s engine brought the leaders to pit road. Gordon held 6th place through the cycle of pit stops. He used the outside line to his advantage and took 5th shortly after the restart. Gordon took 4th from Kyle Busch on lap 264 and moved to 3rd with a pass on Matt Kenseth on lap 266. He gained ground on his Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr prior to a green flag pit stop cycle on lap 313. A debris caution with 31 laps to go altered late race strategy and brought the leaders to pit road for the final time. Crew chief Alan Gustafson called for two-tire change and Gordon restarted in 2nd place.
Johnson, as the race leader, opted for the outside line for the restart with 27 laps to go. Gordon dropped to 4th on the restart behind Johnson, Earnhardt Jr, and Joey Logano. He wound up the event in 4th place — his 5th top-10 in the last 6 races. Gordon moved up to a tie for 4th in the series standings, 39 points from the top spot.
Gordon restarted 2nd with 27 to go, but struggled on short runs throughout the day. Without the last caution, it was possible that Gordon could have stretched his fuel to the finish and captured a victory
Source: Jeff Gordon Online
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