Brad Keselowski dominated the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway by leading 199 of the 267 laps en route to his 12th career win. Keselowski started from the pole and took the lead for the final time from Kyle Busch with less than 20 laps remaining due to different pit strategies. Jeff Gordon finished 6th after a pit road issue and maintained the series points lead.
Gordon started 3rd and slipped back to 6th on lap 2 after he got loose underneath Denny Hamlin. He regrouped and took 5th from Kyle Larson on lap 16, and moved past Kevin Harvick to run 4th on lap 23. Gordon took 3rd when Denny Hamlin crashed on lap 29 to bring out the first caution. Gordon’s crew changed two tires and the #24 car held the 3rd spot. He slipped to 4th on the restart on the inside line and held the spot until the next caution on lap 77 for Kyle Larson’s crash. Gordon took 4 tires on the pit stop and restarted in 8th place. He moved to 7th when Matt Kenseth slowed for a cut tire. A debris caution slowed the field on lap 125. Gordon came to pit road for tires, but an air gun malfunction saw him restart back in 23rd place. He re-entered the top-20 on lap 134 and ran 17th on lap 142.
Gordon moved to 14th on lap 154 following a crash that took out Jamie McMurray and Aric Almirola. Following a 4-tire stop, Gordon restarted in 18th place. He steadily gained positions and took 15th from Kasey Kahne with just under 100 laps to go. The next caution came with 91 laps to go when David Stremme spun in turn 4. Gordon stayed out and restarted in 8th place. He took 7th from Jimmie Johnson and then passed Kevin Harvick for 6th with 75 to go. Almriola’s crash with 53 to go brought the leaders to pit road. Gordon’s crew changed 4 tires and the driver restarted in 7th place. He dropped to 9th before rallying back to 8th with 30 to go. Gordon took 7th after Joey Logano dropped a cylinder with 21 to go. He passed Harvick for 6th with 2 laps to go, where he finished the event.
Gordon leads the NASCAR standings by 24 points over Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
An air gun malfunction during a pit stop on lap 126 saw Gordon fall from 7th to 23rd place. He battled for track position for the balance of the night after that.
“That was a strong, competitive effort. That’s why we’ve been so good week in and week out. Really good cars and good team. When we get down, we fight back. I’m disappointed, I thought we were going to be better than that…. We did have the issues [on pit road] and got behind. The car was pretty decent at the end, but not enough to really move up. It was pretty tough to pass. I thought we made the most of what happened to us tonight.”
source: Jeff Gordon Online
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