Jeff Gordon took the checkered flag in Sunday's AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway, but four other drivers got the axe in the first Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup elimination race in the history of the sport.
AJ Allmendinger, 2004 series' champion Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle and Aric Almirola missed the cut for the next round of the Chase, as the field was pared from 16 drivers to 12 following the third and final Challenger Round race.
|Jeff Gordon fighting against Kyle Larson. (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)|
After the dominant car of polesitter Kevin Harvick had a major issue with the left front wheel on lap 254 of 400, Gordon took control of the event on lap 305, passing runner-up Brad Keselowski for the lead on lap 305.
After a cycle of green-flag pit stops, Gordon led the last 71 laps, pulling away to win by a comfortable 4.352 seconds.
Jimmie Johnson ran third, followed by Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth, as all of the top-five drivers advanced to the Contender Round, a three-race elimination with visits to Kansas Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.
Only 12 drivers can now clinch the 2014 driver’s title:
Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
|Jeff Gordon celebrates in Dover. (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)|