Auto Racing: Kahne's late pass ends Gordon's bid for 7th Pocono win

2013-08-05T00:00:00Z Auto Racing: Kahne's late pass ends Gordon's bid for 7th Pocono winThe Associated Press The Associated Press
August 05, 2013 12:00 am  • 

LONG POND, Pa. - Jeff Gordon had the inside line, a lead and his first win of the season in sight, usually a sure thing for Pocono's top winner.

Kasey Kahne was about out of time to pass his Hendrick Motorsports teammate.

"It was either to go for it and make it work," Kahne said. "Or not."

Cruising from the outside, Kahne got the jump he needed, zipped past Gordon and pulled away with two laps left Sunday to win at Pocono Raceway.

"I about gave it away when Jeff got by me," Kahne said.

Kahne recovered in the No. 5 Chevrolet for his second victory of the season, all but securing his spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. He had the car to beat for the final half of the 400-mile race until a late caution bunched up the field.

Gordon nudged past Kahne after some thrilling two-wide racing and seemed poised to win at Pocono for the seventh time. After the final caution, Kahne was simply too fast, too strong to be denied his first win at Pocono since 2008.

So close to the checkered, this loss stung Gordon. Even worse, his runner-up finish came on his 42nd birthday in his 42nd career Pocono start.

"I thought all I needed to do was get in here and got to the bottom and I'd be good," Gordon said. "He got a killer run and blasted by on the outside of me. Caught me by surprise. It just kills your momentum."

Kurt Busch, who also celebrated a birthday, Ryan Newman and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the top five.

Kahne, Gordon and Earnhardt made it an outstanding race for Hendrick. Teammate and series points leader Jimmie Johnson was 13th after a blown tire knocked him out of the lead.

IndyCar

LEXINGTON, Ohio - Charlie Kimball is a diabetic. A condition the IndyCar driver manages with a mixture of vigilance, discipline and perspective.

Kind of like the way he handles the horsepower at his fingertips.

Six years after the diagnosis that changed his life and two-plus seasons into a career blossoming right under his feet, the guy who used to wonder if he'd get to do this for a living is now a race winner.

Kimball slipped by Simon Pagenaud with 18 laps remaining then pulled away to win the Indy 200 on Sunday at Mid-Ohio.

Racing in a backup car after wrecking in practice Saturday, Kimball beat Pagenaud to the finish line by more than 5 seconds. Pagenaud held on for second. Dario Franchitti was third, followed by Will Power and Ryan Hunter-Reay. Points leader Helio Castroneves rallied from 15th to sixth.

The first trip to the winner's circle erased any lingering doubts Kimball, 28, had about whether he belonged in North America's top open-wheel series.

"Getting the win quiets a lot of voices for sure," Kimball said. "Especially the ones within myself."

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