Who invited Kasey Kahne to Jeff Gordon’s birthday party? Last year, Gordon was celebrating the win at Pocono, but this year, Kahne decided to steal the show and the win away from Gordon.
Kahne seemed to have the win in sight with over a 7-second lead, when the caution flew for debris with 12 laps remaining. On the restart, Gordon and Kahne would battle for the lead, with Gordon getting to the point, a position most thought he would then hold onto. However, a late race caution set up the final dash to the finish with four laps left.
Gordon would initially hold off Kahne, but Kahne shot past Gordon on the outside to claim his second victory of the year. Gordon would finish second, and give his Chase hopes a huge boost, while Kahne almost locked himself in with two wins now. Kurt Busch was third, followed by Ryan Newman, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brad Keselowski.
The Hendrick teams put three drivers in the top five, while the only Hendrick driver outside the top five was Jimmie Johnson.
Johnson started on the pole and dominated the early stages of the race, leading 43 laps, but crashed when he had a tire problem on Lap 78. After pitting several times for repairs, Johnson fell to 28th in the running order.
In typical Johnson fashion, his team rallied to finish 13th on a day that could have been much worse. After fixing the sheet metal damage to his car, Johnson’s team discovered that the impact of the crash had knocked a spark plug wire loose and he was running on seven cylinders.
Despite the finish, Johnson actually added to his point lead by two points, who now leads Clint Bowyer by 77 points, followed by Carl Edwards.
*** Stewart to miss Sundays race ***
Tony Stewart underwent surgery on his right leg early Tuesday morning, Aug. 6 after suffering a broken tibia and fibula in a sprint car crash Monday night, Aug. 5 at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, Iowa. There is no exact time table on Stewarts return. A second surgery is expected. This week, Max Papis will take the wheel for Stewart.
*** Road Course Preview ***
Watkins Glenn takes center stage as a pivotal race to the Chase. With just five races remaining till the field is set, the competition for those final spots is now wide open with Stewart out. Last year, this race provided one of the most exciting finishes with Kyle Busch crashing and Brad Keselowski and Marcus Ambrose battling it out on the final lap.