Monday, August 6, 2012

Jeff Gordon Jumps into Chase Hunt With Rain Shortened Pocono Win

Jeff Gordon winless streak ends at 31 races (Getty)  
USA Today

LONG POND, Pa. – The 2012 season has been about inopportune circumstances for Jeff Gordon.

That changed on a storm-plagued Sunday at Pocono Raceway. Whether it was starting 27th at the initial drop of the green flag or sixth on the last lap at full speed, the four-time champion always seemed in the right place for his 86th Sprint Cup victory.

He took advantage of Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson's misfortune to win the rain-shortened Pennsylvania 400 and moved into position for a Chase for the Sprint Cup wild card berth with his first victory of the season.

"It's nice to know that things can still go our way," Gordon said. "I hate it for (Johnson) what happened, but we haven't had a whole lot go our way this year. To have the cars in front of you all slide up the racetrack, you go by and win the race … this is a big boost for us as a team."

Johnson led a race-high 44 laps and was in first on a lap 91 restart when disaster struck for the five-time champion. Entering Turn 1, Johnson's No. 48 Chevrolet slid up the track and into Matt Kenseth's No. 17 Ford.

Kenseth spun and also collected Denny Hamlin, Greg Biffle and Jeff Burton. Runner-up Kasey Kahne, third-place Martin Truex Jr., and fourth-place Brad Keselowski also tried to avoid the wreck, and Gordon's No. 24 Chevy scooted past the mess on the bottom and into the lead.

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