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Jeff Gordon tastes victory at Brickyard

Jeff Gordon is now a five-time winner at the Brickyard.

He hopes it’s the precursor to a fifth Sprint Cup Series championship.

Gordon passed Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne on a restart with 17 of 160 laps remaining and held off Kyle Busch to win Sunday’s Crown Royal 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The win is Gordon’s fifth at the track, second of the season and 90th of his career.

Denny Hamlin finished third, Matt Kenseth was fourth and Joey Logano was fifth.

Gordon, the series points leader, took command early of the race, grabbing the lead from pole-winner Kevin Harvick on Lap 2 and leading the next 20 laps.

A competition caution was displayed on Lap 22 due to heavy rain on Saturday night. Several lead-lap cars pit, but not all of them and Logano took over the race lead on the restart on Lap 26.

Kahne moved into the lead for the first time, getting around Logano on Lap 32.

Teams that did not pit during the first caution began green-flag pit stops on Lap 36. Once every car had cycled through it stop, Harvick moved back into the lead on Lap 55.

While making a green-flag stop on Lap 68, Danica Patrick broke the rear gears in her No. 10 Chevrolet and was forced to the garage for repairs. During the caution on Lap 69, most lead-lap cars pit for fuel and tires.

Denny Hamlin remained on the track and took over the race lead on the restart on Lap 73 followed by Harvick and Kahne.

Kahne retook the lead before the next lap was completed.

At the halfway mark of the race on Lap 80, Kahne continued to lead followed by Kyle Busch and Harvick.

Trevor Bayne hit the wall on Lap 97 to bring out the third caution of the race. Clint Bowyer had pit under green just before the caution and took over the race lead on the restart on Lap 102. He was followed by Kahne, Busch and Harvick.

“It just stinks for our team because we had a decent car, decent enough that when we got track position we could hold on to it,” Bayne said. “We were running top 20 and had a chance to do even better than that.”

Less than one lap later, Kahne powered around Bowyer and back into the lead.

Teams began a final round of green-flag pit stops on Lap 127. Once the cycle was completed on Lap 132, Kahne remained in the lead followed by Gordon and Kyle Busch.

There was concern on Kahne’s team that his No. 5 Chevrolet may be one lap short on fuel.

Ryan Truex stopped on the track on Lap 139 to bring out the fourth caution of the race. Only a handful of lead-lap cars pit under the caution and Kahne remained in the lead on the restart on Lap 144.

Gordon wasted no time taking the lead from Kahne driving into Turn 1.

With 10 laps to go, Gordon held a comfortable lead over Kyle Busch.

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