Sunday, October 12, 2014
12:09:00 AM Brad Keselowski , Charlotte Motor Speedway , Denny Hamlin , Jamie McMurray , Jeff Gordon , Kevin Harvick , Kristen Schneider , Kyle Larson , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart No comments
In his first win since this season’s race at Darlington Raceway, the driver of the No. 4 battled a charging Jeff Gordon and stubborn Kyle Busch all night long. He began to feel phantom issues, such as a loose wheel. In the end, the car was perfect, and it gave him a cushion for the cut off race at Talladega Superspeedway.
Runner-up Jeff Gordon was eighth in points coming in, barely in the transfer group. Now, he’s pleased with his team’s efforts.
“We had a great start to the race…we stuck with it and finally got something out of it at the end. We couldn’t get close enough to [Harvick]….really, really strong finish there to come back to second.”
It was also an impressive night for rookie Kyle Larson, who finished sixth. He led for a small portion of the event and almost played spoiler. “I got myself into the wall a bit, and I’m really disappointed in that,” he said about running the high side.
Third-place finisher and fellow Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Jamie McMurray was happy for Larson, saying, “It’s always good when were both doing well, and it’s nice to see the 42 up there. We had a great race as well.”
The drama definitely ramped up after the checkered flag flew. Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski scuffled in the final turn, resulting in the No. 2 spinning. The 2012 Sprint Cup Champion also upset Tony Stewart on pit road after the event, hitting him in the rear. It seemed over when Keselowski walked away, but it was far from it. A previous on-track incident with the No. 2 displeased Matt Kenseth, and Kenseth jumped Keselowski between the haulers.
If there was doubt the new format was working, it's erased now.
“There’s going to be even more intensity as [The Chase] goes on,” Gordon commented.
That is an understatement.