LONG POND, Pa. – Driver Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw was running out of time to pass Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway.
“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 the GoBowling.com 400.
“I about gave it away when Jeff got by me,” Kahne said.
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Kahne recovered in the No. 5 Chevrolet for his second victory of the season, all but securing his spot in the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship. The 33-year-old has 16 career victories at NASCAR’s top level.
Kahne 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 victory at Pocono since 2008.
Kahne led seven times for 66 laps and won by 1.392 seconds.
Gordon’s runner-up finish came on his 42nd birthday, in his 42nd career Pocono start.
“He got a killer run and blasted by on the outside of me,” Gordon said of Kahne. “Caught me by surprise. It just kills your momentum.”
Third-place Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the top five.
Greg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., was 10th of 43.
Busch helped Kahne with one final push down the front stretch to find some needed speed.
• Charlie Kimball slipped past Simon Pagenaud with 18 laps remaining and pulled away to win the Honda Indy 200, an IndyCar Series event at Mid-Ohio in Lexington.
Racing in a backup car after wrecking in practice Saturday, the 28-year-old Kimball beat Pagenaud to the finish line by 5.5334 seconds for his first victory in the series.