KANSAS CITY, KS (WFXG) - Jeff Gordon has had a great start to the 2014 season but has not been able to capture that elusive first win. However, that all changed Saturday night as the four time champion outrun Kevin Harvick to the flag and punched his ticket to the post season.
It was the first ever night race at Kansas Speedway and Gordon has made a habit of winning the first events on the mile and a half tri-oval after winning the inaugural race there in 2001.
"There's just something about this track, the transitions, the shape of the corners," said a relieved Gordon after the race. "I've just always enjoyed it."
Gordon has been the Cup Series point leader for the last few weeks and has had opportunities to win several times this season but has not been able to close the deal until Saturday night.
"Nothing makes me more proud than when it's all on the line and you get the lead and you've got to hold off somebody like Harvick and you get it done," continued Gordon on his last few laps. "It might have been by inches, but we got it done."
Now, with a win to go with his point lead, Gordon is assured of making the post season and possibly a fifth Cup Series title.
"All I know is that by getting this win, it just allows us to focus that much more and fine tune on what we need to do to go win more," explained the race winner on his approach to the rest of the season.
The victory Saturday night didn't come easy as Kevin Harvick had the dominate car most of the night. It took a late race pit stop to get Gordon out front and that proved to be the winning move as the margin of victory was only two car lengths.
"He was strong and he was coming," said Gordon on Harvick's charge to the line. "He was so strong on the top side of 3 and 4, I'm not sure I could have held him off much longer."
Gordon's win was not the only story in Kansas Saturday night as Danica Patrick had her best finish on a 1.5 mile track coming home with a seventh place finish and her efforts were not overlooked by the race winner.
"She was very impressive," said Gordon. "You know, one time I started on the outside of her, and I drove down into 1, and she left me, and then she about passed the two cars ahead of us going into 3."
With the win, Gordon and his team are not going to be content to sit on their accomplishments. In fact, they are hungrier than ever for more success.
"I think once you get that first win, it only leads you to the ability to take risks to get the next win," explained Gordon on his motivation for next week's All Star Race.
Whether you love him or hate him, Jeff Gordon is a hero in our sport and it is great to see him running up front again after several years of mediocrity.