Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, won the 45th Annual AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway after leading 94 laps. Gordon has 92 victories in 754 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, with 4 wins (Kansas Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Michigan International Speedway) for the 2014 season. Gordon has five wins in 44 starts at Dover, his last victory coming in 2001.
“I don’t know what I’ve found, but I think a lot of it has to do with (crew chief) Alan Gustafson and all the guys on this No. 24 team,” Gordon said.
Gordon spent the closing laps in control on Sunday’s race at the Monster Mile, leading the final 70 laps of the day. Gordon joined Team Penske drivers Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano as the three drivers that were guaranteed to move forward into the Contender Round for the Chase as the Challenger Round with 16 drivers came to an end.
“This is huge…they’ve just giving me such an awesome race car team this year. I’m having so much fun,” Gordon said. “We came in here with a little bit of extra pressure because we weren’t guaranteed to be in. All we did was focus on executing as a team and trying to win this race.”
“It wasn’t about the points and it wasn’t about just squeezing by to get to the next round,” said Gordon, who led the points’ standings for much of the regular season. “It was about making a statement. I don’t know how you make a bigger statement than what this team just did right there.”
Gordon cruised by Keselowski, who tried to fight back, but Gordon was on a mission and within 10 laps cruised to a safe distance of 1.739 seconds over the second place, by the end of the race Gordon’s lead had grown to 4.352 seconds over Keselowski, won finished second.
Jimmie Johnson finished in third; with Joey Logano finishing in fourth, rounding out the top-5 was Matt Kenseth. Kyle Larson, the highest finishing rookie in Sunday’s race, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer and Kyle Busch rounded out the top-10 finishers.
Keselowski remains the Chase leader in the Standings, followed by Penske teammate Logano, Kevin Harvick in third, Johnson in fourth, Gordon in fifth. The point will be reset for the Contender Round beginning next week at Kansas.
The start of the Contender Round for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway, Sunday, Oct. 5 with coverage on ESPN beginning at 2 p.m. ET. Qualifying for the race will be Friday, Oct. 3 at 5:45 p.m. with coverage beginning at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN 2.