Jeff Gordon celebrated the 20th anniversary of his first win by claiming victory in the 5-Hour Energy 400 at Kansas Speedway yesterday. The victory was his first this season, but 89th of his Cup career.
Although Kevin Harvick led for 119 laps during the 400-mile race, with a commanding lead over Gordon and Joey Logano, Gordon was able to get to the head of the pack with only 8 laps left to go.
''I'm just so proud of our (Hendrick Motorsport) 24 team. They have been giving me the best racecars all year long,'' exclaimed an ecstatic Gordon, who may now be rethinking his plans to retire at the end of this season. ''I have been having so much fun. I'm going to be 43 this year and I feel like I'm 25 again. That is the way they make me feel.''
Kasey Kahne finished third, followed by Joey Logano and Dale Earnhardt Jr. In the meantime, Danica Patrick seemed to be thrilled with her 7th place finish (a career best) after running in the top 3 before losing position on pit road under caution. Had she been able to hold her place, she would have beaten Sara Christian’s record for highest finish by a female driver.
Christian was, who competed against her husband Frank, was the first woman to compete in NASCAR, when she qualified 13th for its premier event at Charlotte Speedway on June 9,1949. She later became the first female to earn a top-10 finish when she came in 6th at Langdon Speedway, and later 5th at Pittsburgh’s Heidelberg Raceway.