Kasey Kahne wins in one-two finish at Pocono
LONG POND, Pa. – Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS, earned his second career victory at Pocono Raceway on Sunday afternoon in a one-two finish with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon. Kahne, who started 18th, scored the 15th Pocono victory and 34th one-two finish for Hendrick Motorsports with the win. Joining Kahne and Gordon inside the top five was teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jimmie Johnson came home in 13th.
Here are the race recaps by driver:
Kasey Kahne, No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS
Race finish: First.
Recap: Kasey Kahne started Sunday’s race at Pocono Raceway from the 18th position and immediately began charging towards the front. The driver of the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS improved seven positions in the early stages, running as high as 11th just prior to a Lap 15 caution for an incident in Turn 3. After pitting for two-tires and adjustments, Kahne returned to the track in the 12th position and quickly made his way into the top 10 on the ensuing restart. Kahne then moved into the top five for the first time in the 400-mile event on Lap 34. He would remained inside the top five and utilized strategy during the third caution period of the afternoon – a Lap 54 incident – to take the lead for the first time. Kahne would remain in the top spot until crew chief Kenny Francis called the No. 5 Chevy SS to pit road for four-tires just shy of the halfway point. Kahne returned to the track in the 10th position but chose to stay during the fourth caution of the afternoon to move back into second. He quickly re-assumed the lead on the restart and pulled away to a five-second lead over the rest of the field in the ensuing 25 laps. Kahne then came to pit road for the final time with just 31 laps remaining for four-tires and fuel. Kahne would regain the race lead as the final round of pit stops were completed and hold off a hard-charging Jeff Gordon and a late race restart to earn his second career victory at Pocono Raceway.
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS
Race finish: Second.
Recap: Jeff Gordon rolled off the grid in the 22nd position on Sunday afternoon at Pocono Raceway. Gordon quickly began working his way toward the front, improving nine positions by the Lap 15 competition caution. After pitting for two-tires during the first caution period, the driver of the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS continued his charge toward the front, moving into the top 10 for the first time on Lap 29. Five laps later, Gordon worked his way into the top five and ultimately to the race lead as other teams were on a different pit sequence. After pitting for four-tires and adjustments on Lap 42, Gordon returned to the track in the sixth position and was consistently turning some of the fastest lap times. While running inside the top 10, crew chief Alan Gustafson made the decision to keep the No. 24 Chevy SS on the racetrack during a Lap 54 caution to move Gordon up to the third position. Gordon would remain inside the top five throughout the next 70 laps, moving into the second position following the final round of green flag pit stops. Then, following a Lap 148 caution for debris, Gordon was able to move past Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne to take the race lead with seven laps to go. Gordon continued to battle with Kahne on the final restart with two laps remaining, ultimately coming home with a second-place finish.
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s Planes Chevrolet SS
Race finish: 13th.
Recap: Jimmie Johnson started from the pole position on Sunday afternoon at Pocono Raceway after setting a new track record in qualifying on Friday afternoon. From the drop of the green flag, Johnson had the No. 48 Lowe’s Planes Chevrolet SS out front, pacing the field for the first 34 circuits before coming to pit road for the first round of green-flag pit stops. Following the stop for four-tires and adjustments, Johnson returned to the track in the 14th position but resumed the race lead 14 laps later as cars on a different pit-sequence made their way onto pit road. He remained out front until a flat right-front tire caused the No. 48 Chevy SS to make contact with the Turn 1 wall. Johnson pitted for repairs and remained on the lead lap. Battling a tight condition throughout the remainder of the race, crew chief Chad Knaus continued to work on the No. 48 Chevy SS, making gains as the race went on. In the end, Johnson was able to utilize two late race restarts to come home with a 13th-place finish.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 88 National Guard Youth Foundation Chevrolet SS
Race finish: Fifth.
Recap: Dale Earnhardt Jr. rolled off from the 25th position on Sunday afternoon at Pocono Raceway and utilized a two-tire change during a Lap 15 caution period to move into the top 20 for the first time. On the ensuing restart, the driver of the No. 88 National Guard Youth Foundation Chevrolet SS was able to maneuver his way into the top 15, battling with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon for the 14th position. Continuing his push toward the front, Earnhardt moved into the top 10 for the first time in the 400-mile event on Lap 34 and then into the race lead as the first round of green-flag pit stops began. Following the stop for four-tires and adjustments, the No. 88 Chevy SS crew sent Earnhardt back out in the 11th position. Earnhardt would quickly work his way back into the top 10 and then back into the top five after staying out during the fourth caution period of the afternoon. Earnhardt continued to battle for position inside the top five with teammate Gordon until the final round of green flag pit stops moved the No. 88 Chevy SS into the second position with an 11.8 second pit stop. Earnhardt then battled through two late race restarts and getting shuffled outside of the top five to come home with a fifth-place finish, his fifth top-five finish of the 2013 season.