Late Wreck and Rain Help Gordon Win at Pocono

Photo- Getty Images

By Jason Schultz

After a bunch of bad luck to start the season off, Jeff Gordon found some good luck to take the checker flag at Pocono today. 


A much needed win for Gordon came at the right time. Gordon said he was “in the right place at the right time” when the final wreck ended the race. Gordon saw his teammate Jimmie Johnson slide up the track going into turn one and Gordon took the opportunity to take the lead. Johnson had dominated the race the whole day but a late race slip cost Johnson the victory. Gordon was multiple positions out of Chase contention but with this win, Gordon moves up into the second wild card position and now has a great shot at making the Chase. 


Rain was another big story of the day. We had an hour and forty-five minute rain delay to start the race and rain is why the race was called 61 laps before the scheduled finish. 


Pole sitter Juan Pablo Montoya led the first eight laps before being passed by Denny Hamlin for the lead. Hamlin soon gave up the lead to Dale Earnhardt Jr who had the strongest car of the day. 


The first caution of the day came out on lap 19 for Kyle Busch who had a part break and he then slid up and hit the wall. Busch’s bad luck continues and this was probably the worst thing to happen to Busch so far. Busch now is no longer in a wild card spot and now all Kyle can do is win to get into the Chase.  Busch eventually came back on the track multiple laps down and ended up finishing 33rd


On lap 24, Brad Keselowski took the lead from Jamie McMurray. On lap 30, Brad Keselowski pitted and Dale Earnhardt Jr inherited the lead. Johnson took the lead for the first time of the day on lap 39 when he passed his teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jimmie Johnson was the leader at lap 40, which was the halfway to halfway mark. 


On lap 48, the first round of green flag pit stops began. Dale Earnhardt Jr was having a great run until lap 49 when his transmission broke and Earnhardt Jr went behind the wall. Earnhardt Jr eventually came back out many laps down and he ended up finishing in the 32ndposition. When Earnhardt Jr went behind the wall he ended his streak of completing every lap so far this season. 


With rain approaching, the halfway mark of the race arrived, meaning the race was official if the rain came. Johnson led followed by Kenseth, Keselowski, Kurt Busch and Greg Biffle. 


Lap 85, brought the second caution of the day for Kurt Busch. Busch crashed in the tunnel turn after getting loose and spinning. The coming restart was anticipated to be wild with rain minutes away from the track. Drivers were expected to make desperate moves to gain a few positions before the arrival of rain. 


Johnson was the leader on the restart and when he went into turn one; he got loose and slid up into Matt Kenseth and they both hit the wall along with Greg Biffle. Kenseth then slid down the track and into Denny Hamlin, causing both cars to suffer major damage. Kenseth commented on the radio about the incident and said “The 48 just took me out. We were racing side by side and he just took me out.” 


Jeff Gordon made it through the wreck and took the lead. 


Under this caution, the rain and lightning arrived at the raceway and the red flag came out on lap 99. Minutes later the NASCAR officials called the race and Jeff Gordon was named the race winner. 


This was a huge and much needed win for Gordon and he knew it. He said his bad luck had run out and now the good luck set in at the right time. Gordon now is in the second wild card position and is in the perfect spot to make the chase. Gordon said in victory lane to not “count him out (of the Chase).” 


After Kyle Busch experienced more troubles, he now sits in 15th-place in points and is third in line for the second wild card. This is something Kyle did not expect and now all Kyle can do is win. He has some great tracks coming up and Kyle should be able to rebound from his misfortune at Pocono. 


The top four in points had some trouble today but Earnhardt Jr still leads the standings. 


A great day for Jeff Gordon has given him some hope at making the Chase and attempting to win his fifth championship. 


Other drivers had some bad runs and are looking forward to racing next week at the Glen in Watkins Glen, New York.

 

Results and Point Standings via Nascar.com
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STATUS
1
27
24
Chevrolet
Drive to End Hunger
47/1
98
Running
2
4
5
Chevrolet
Farmers Insurance
43/1
98
Running
3
15
56
Toyota
NAPA Auto Parts
41/0
98
Running
4
31
2
Dodge
Miller Lite
41/1
98
Running
5
28
14
Chevrolet
Office Depot “Back to School”
39/0
98
Running
6
9
39
Chevrolet
Haas Automation / Quicken Loans
38/0
98
Running
7
17
99
Ford
Fastenal
37/0
98
Running
8
19
15
Toyota
5-hour Energy
36/0
98
Running
9
11
78
Chevrolet
Furniture Row / Farm American
35/0
98
Running
10
5
9
Ford
Stanley
34/0
98
Running
11
3
27
Chevrolet
Menards / Serta
33/0
98
Running
12
18
55
Toyota
Aaron’s Dream Machine
32/0
98
Running
13
14
20
Toyota
The Home Depot
31/0
98
Running
14
10
48
Chevrolet
Lowe’s
32/2
98
Running
15
12
16
Ford
3M
29/0
98
Running
16
21
29
Chevrolet
Budweiser
27/0
98
Running
17
16
1
Chevrolet
Bass Pro Shops / Allstate
27/1
98
Running
18
13
43
Ford
Automotive Lift Institute
25/0
98
Running
19
25
22
Dodge
Shell / Pennzoil
0
98
Running
20
1
42
Chevrolet
Target
25/1
98
Running
21
26
38
Ford
ModSpace
23/0
98
Running
22
23
31
Chevrolet
Enersys / Odyssey Battery
22/0
98
Running
23
7
17
Ford
Zest
22/1
98
Running
24
24
10
Chevrolet
TMone.com
20/0
97
Running
25
37
93
Toyota
Burger King / Dr Pepper
19/0
97
Running
26
22
83
Toyota
Burger King / Dr Pepper
18/0
97
Running
27
39
47
Toyota
Scott Products
17/0
96
Running
28
32
34
Ford
Taco Bell
16/0
96
Running
29
2
11
Toyota
FedEx Ground
16/1
90
Accident
30
6
51
Chevrolet
Phoenix Construction Services
15/1
84
Accident
31
41
32
Ford
Zaxby’s
0
81
Transmission
32
8
88
Chevrolet
Diet Mountain Dew / AMP Energy / National Guard
13/1
80
Running
33
20
18
Toyota
M&M’s
11/0
74
Accident
34
36
30
Toyota
Inception Motorsports
10/0
43
Transmission
35
29
13
Ford
GEICO
9/0
40
Brakes
36
38
87
Toyota
AM / FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves
0
37
Brakes
37
34
26
Ford
MDS Transport
7/0
34
Brakes
38
42
36
Chevrolet
@TMone / CRM Hiring Veterans
6/0
31
Fuel Pump
39
30
119
Toyota
Plinker Tactical
0
29
Overheating
40
35
37
Chevrolet
Max Q Motorsports
4/0
27
Brakes
41
43
98
Ford
TRAQM.com
0
26
Rear Gear
42
40
191
Ford
Plinker Tactical
0
10
Brakes
43
33
23
Chevrolet
North Texas Pipe
1/0
9
Brakes

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