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2014 Brickyard 400: Close but no win for JGR

Denny Hamlin leads a pack at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday
Denny Hamlin leads a pack at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on SundayNASCAR via Getty Images: Patrick Smith

Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth finished second, third and fourth, respectively, Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but none of them could get past Jeff Gordon in the end. Gordon picked up his fifth win in the race on the 20th anniversary of his first win there in 1994.

Busch, who qualified 12th in the No. 18 Snickers Toyota Camry, also picked up a runner-up finish in Saturday’s Nationwide Series Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indy.

“I don’t think anybody had anything for the 24 (Jeff Gordon),” said Busch after the race. “It seemed like anybody that he got behind he was able to pass those guys. At this place aero situations are so difficult that he could handle through it and pass guys in the long run. His car was really good today and that proved just being able to get out there so far and then he was just riding. I was trying to save my stuff so the guys behind me didn’t catch me. It was a great day for Joe Gibbs Racing here finishing two, three, four — real proud of that and having the Snickers Camry come home second means a lot to our guys and looking forward to the next few weeks.”

“I knew early in the race we had a car that was really fast,” said Hamlin, who qualified the No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota 27th. “Then Darian (Grubb, crew chief) pulled that strategy and then we were going to have a 15 second lead with enough fuel to make it. Dang it. Just didn’t get it full that one stop. We had to get it full. We just didn’t get it full. Had to make that extra stop. That just shows how fast our car was that we were able to battle back with our FedEx team. Proud of the run we had. Obviously, the passing is extremely difficult here. Whoever gets out front can really, really go. We passed all the cars that we needed to pass today.”

“It was a good day for JGR,” said Kenseth, who started the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota from the 13th position. “All our Toyotas were pretty quick today. We were all top-10 cars. Kept guys out and got good finishes. Wish it was a one-two-three. Another good day for us.”

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In addition to Busch’s runner-up finish in the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota Camry in the Lilly Diabetes 250 Nationwide Series race on Saturday, Kenseth finished fourth in the No. 20 Reser’s Toyota, while Elliott Sadler finished 15th in the No. 11 OneMain Financial Toyota.

The Nationwide Series gets back on track next Saturday, August 2nd at Iowa Speedway, while the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “Tricky Triangle,” Pocono Raceway, for the GoBowling.com 400 at Sunday, August 3rd. Keep up with the action at joegibbsracing.com.

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