(MARTINSVILLE, Va.) — Jeff Gordon picked up his first short track win since 2005 after catching Matt Kenseth late to take the checkered flag on Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.
The win moved Gordon from fifth to third in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
“What would Jimmie Johnson do, or better yet, what would Richard Petty do? Matt drove a really first-class caliber race today,” Gordon said of chasing down Kenseth with 70 laps remaining.
“I didn’t know if we were going to get him, but it sure was awesome when we finally did and just kind of hoped there were no cautions,” Gordon told ESPN.
Kenseth finished in second and was followed by Clint Bowyer in third. Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top five.
Johnson and Kenseth now share the Sprint Cup points lead with three races remaining.
“Whenever your team puts you in front for that last run and you’re out there leading, you get beat, you’re always a little bit disappointed,” Kenseth said. “I just got beat by honestly experience and a better driver of this track. I was hesitant to change my line and do the things he was doing because what I was doing got me there. Just got too tight at the end. Wish I could do it over.”
Johnson was asked about how he’ll approach the final three races.
“It’s been a great battle with (Kenseth) and (Gordon) has really shown that he wants to be part of this deal as well,” Johnson said. “It’s going to be a dogfight to the end — the way I would like to race for a championship, and I know that’s what the fans want to see, so we’ll be digging hard.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire
Jill Martin, CNN