Jeff Gordon, driver of the Axalta Chevrolet, won the John Wayne Welding 400 at The Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in an uneventful race with few cautions. Gordon started the 160 lap race on the lead row next to Kevin Harvick, who started on the pole, and led for 3 times for 40 laps, winning with a 2.325 second lead over Kyle Busch.
On Friday, the mayor of Indianapolis Greg Ballard declared Sunday, July 27, Jeff Gordon Day. What a way to celebrate with a victory. Gordon accepted the tribute, adding, ‘I just hope my competitors are respectful of this on Sunday, sort of move out of the way.’
Gordon has 90 victories in 745 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, with the victory Gordon clinches his spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Champion, providing he attempts to qualify for the remaining six races prior to the Chase. Gordon breaks his tie with fellow teammate Jimmie Johnson, and now leads the all-time win list at The Brickyard for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series at 5 victories and is now tie with Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher. Chevrolet marks 12 straight wins at IMS.
“I don’t think there’s a greater feeling as a race car driver and a race team cause that’s what it took today,” said Gordon in victory lane. “A total team effort to be here in victory lane at Indianapolis, I’m not very good on restarts and wasn’t very good today, than I finally made the restart of my life today when it counted most. I knew we had a great race car we just needed to get out front.”
Gordon went into today’s race with confidence, saying that by ‘Starting on the front row is an excellent place to start.’ And that track position is extremely important at Indianapolis. As this year marks the 20th anniversary of Gordon’s win for the inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup series race at IMS in 1994.
Recalling his victory and his 1994 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Gordon said he laughs win he looks at that ‘94’ car, and that the aerodynamics of the cars have vastly improved in the 20 years since his victory.
Gordon started on the outside of teammate Kasey Kahne after the final and fourth caution of the race with 17 laps to go, when Gordon darted by Kahne coming out of Turn 2 for the lead and was off gaining distance with every laps. Gordon grew his lead to a 2.325 second lead at the time of victory.
Kahne led the most laps of the race with 70 of the scheduled 160 laps, finished 6th in the #5 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet, after falling back during the restart.
Gordon was followed by the Joe Gibbs Racing drivers, Kyle Busch finished 2nd, Denny Hamlin finished 3rd, Matt Kenseth finished 4th, with Joey Logano finishing 5th. Kahne, Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Austin Dillon finished 6-10 respectively.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to the Tricky Triangle in the Poconos for the GoBowling.com 400 with qualifying at 3:30 p.m. ET on Friday, August 1, on Fox Sports 1 and race coverage for the GoBowling.com 400 on Sunday, August 3, on ESPN at 1 p.m. ET.