Jeff Gordon scored his 89th career victory tonight at the Kansas Speedway, driving the #24 Axalta Coatings Chevrolet, for the 4th Annual 5-Hour Energy 400 Benefiting Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
Gordon took time to reflect on the 20th anniversary of his first career win for the 1994 Coca-Cola 600 this week, when asked about Kansas, he said he was excited to go to the track where he had previously won, adding Kansas had been one of his favorite tracks before the repave.
The race was delayed by about 30 minutes due to the threat of severe weather that never affected the area, with the exception of high winds of 20-25 mph, before the inaugural night race at Kansas was able to start. Gordon has the victory for the inaugural Kansas race in 2001, and now the first night race win at the track.
Gordon crossed the finish line ahead of Kevin Harvick, who had undeniably the strongest car of the evening leading 119 out of the 267 laps, by a margin of 0.112 seconds. Gordon remains the NASCAR Sprint Cup point’s standings by 15 points over Matt Kenseth. This is Gordon’s first win since last fall at Martinsville, and he becomes the 9th different winner in 11 races.
“I knew we had a fast race car, we’ve been bringing fast race cars every single weekend,” said Gordon in victory lane, who led 9 laps for this evenings race. “It’s just given me so much confidence in the race cars and the race team.”
“Kevin (Harvick) was tough, he was so strong, I did not know if I could hold him off,” Gordon added. “I almost didn’t at the end.”
During the race the lights outside the backstretch went out after 114 laps were completed, after a poll of the drivers and the teams revealing they felt safe enough to continue with just the infield lights illuminating the track, the race continued.
The track lighting returned at Lap 152 at full strength, giving a little over one hundred laps to complete the evening’s event under the full lights.
Harvick finished second, with Kasey Kahne finished third, Kahne best finish of the season, Joey Logano finished fourth with Dale Earnhardt Jr. finishing in fifth. Carl Edwards, Danica Patrick, Aric Almirola, Jimmie Johnson, and Matt Kenseth round out the top ten, respectively.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be in Concord, NC, for the All-Star Race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, where 1 million dollars is on the line, in a non-points race exhibition on Saturday, May 17, with coverage on Fox Sports 1 beginning at 7:00 p.m. eastern time for qualifying and the race at 9:00 p.m. eastern time.