Event: NASCAR Nextel Cup Series USG Sheetrock 400 (Race No. 18 of 36) Location: Chicagoland Speedway, a 1.5-mile oval in Joliet, Ill. Weather: Sunny and hot Winner: Jeff Gordon, driver of the ...
Event: NASCAR Nextel Cup Series USG Sheetrock 400 (Race No. 18 of 36)
Location: Chicagoland Speedway, a 1.5-mile oval in Joliet, Ill.
Weather: Sunny and hot
Winner: Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 DuPont Chevrolet from Hendrick Motorsports
Top-five finishers: Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Race recap: After slight contact with the back bumper of race leader Matt Kenseth's car and its subsequent spinout with four laps to go, Jeff Gordon got by for the lead and the ultimate race win.
Gordon, who led a total of 20 laps on the day, took over the top spot for the final time on lap 264, and held on for the final restart and green-white-checkered finish that caused the event to go three laps over the scheduled 267 laps. Overall, the race featured 18 lead changes among 10 drivers, with Kenseth leading the most laps with 112. The race was slowed by eight caution flags for a total of 34 laps.
The victory was the 75th of Gordon's 455-race Cup career, and his second in the last three weeks. He used the win to move into the 10th and final spot eligible for this season's Race for the Championship playoff format with eight events left in the regular season.
Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson is still in the top spot overall, currently 51 points in front of Kenseth. The series' next race will be at New Hampshire International Speedway next Sunday.
Goodyear quote from Greg Stucker, director of race tire sales and marketing: "We couldn't be happier with the performance of our tires throughout the weekend at Chicagoland. This was a similar set-up to the one we debuted at Charlotte in May, and we were equally pleased with what we saw this week as we were back then. This combination just seemed to match up well with the track, enabling drivers to use multiple grooves and giving teams the opportunity to employ both two- and four-tire pit strategies."
Companion event: Casey Mears stretched his tires and fuel for the final 69 laps on the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway to win the Busch Series race on Saturday. Mears, who won his first ever NASCAR-sanctioned race, inherited the lead when the rest of the leaders pitted on lap 163 and he held on from there out. Kevin Harvick, who finished the Chicago race in the fourth position, maintained his championship points lead after 19 of 35 races.
At Kentucky Speedway, near Sparta, Ron Hornaday led the Craftsman Truck Series field across the finish line on Saturday night. He stayed out front the final 20 laps in the Built Ford Tough 225
In his #33 Chevrolet truck shod with Goodyear Wrangler race rubber. Finishing behind him were Rick Crawford, Brendan Gaughan, Johnny Benson and David Ragan. It was Hornaday's 29th career victory and his second this season. There were eight cautions, and seven drivers swapped the lead 10 times.