Gordon Outduels Logano In Michigan
BROOKLYN, Mich. – Jeff Gordon continued his strong season by winning Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan Int’l Speedway.
The victory didn’t come easy for the four-time Sprint Cup champion, who had to battle his way by Joey Logano on a late-race restart to earn his third victory of the season and the 91st of his Sprint Cup career in the No. 24 Chevrolet SS.
“It wasn’t easy. It’s never easy to win at any of these tracks, especially when aerodynamics and track position mean so much,” Gordon said.
Gordon spent much of the day chasing or being closely pursued by Logano, who led a race-high 86 laps during the 200-lap event. Logano had the lead when the caution flag waved on lap 167 when Brad Keselowski hit the wall in turn one after blowing a right-front tire.
The caution flag waved after Logano, Gordon and several others had made their final pit stops of the race. While several cars pitted, Logano and Gordon stayed out and would be the first two cars in line for the restart.
The green flag waved with 27 laps to go and Logano was able to hold the lead from the high side over Gordon. Unfortunately the caution flag waved again before one lap could be completed when Brian Vickers spun in turns three and four.
Kurt Busch had managed to get by Gordon and restarted the race in second alongside Logano with 23 laps to go. Busch battled hard with Logano through turns one and two, but coming out of two Busch’s Chevrolet SS got loose and Busch slammed the wall at the exit of the turn.
Busch limped his car around the track for another lap before one of his tires began to come apart, forcing NASCAR to call for the caution flag yet again. That allowed Gordon, who was now back in second, to close the gap that Logano had built after the restart.
The green flag waved again with 17 laps left and Logano again got a good restart, but this time Gordon was prepared. Gordon drove his Chevrolet SS down into turn one and was able to get alongside Logano through the middle of the corner. By the time the lead pair exited turn two, Gordon had passed Logano and taken the lead.
Logano stayed right behind Gordon and with 16 to go he dove low entering turn one to try and retake the lead. They raced side-by-side for the position down the backstretch, but Gordon was able to get back out in front in turn three. As Logano tried to keep pace with Gordon his Ford Fusion slipped in turn four, dropping him from second to fifth as Gordon pulled away.