Gordon, Johnson clinch Chase spots
By Gray Caldwell
CONCORD, N.C. – Sunday’s race result did more than secure Jeff Gordon’s name atop the all-time winners at Indianapolis Motor Speedway – it also secured his spot in the Chase.
Gordon’s win clinched a spot in the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup as long as he qualifies for the final six races of the regular season.
“It's certainly going to be a huge confidence boost for this team. We recognize the significance of this,” Gordon said of the Chase-clinching victory. “It's so hard to gain confidence in this series. But a Brickyard 400 win, it just doesn't get any better. To share that with that team that worked so hard, to see the look on their face—you can just see it in them now. They believe.
“I think we saw we were points leaders, we saw we won at Kansas, but I don't know if we believed we were capable of winning this championship this year, truly believe it. We do now. We got to keep that fire in us, keep it going.
“I think we can, so I'm excited.”
Jimmie Johnson’s 14th-place finish Sunday at the Brickyard also clinched his spot in the Chase, once again depending on him qualifying for the final six races of the regular season.
With Dale Earnhardt Jr. earning his spot following the race in New Hampshire, three Hendrick Motorsports drivers are now in the Chase.
After Sunday’s race in Indianapolis, Kasey Kahne – who is currently 15th in the standings – said he feels good about the races remaining in the regular season as he looks to lock up his own place in the postseason.
“We have five more good tracks for us and six more races, so hopefully we can get one,” Kahne said.