Jeff Gordon captured his second win of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Pocono Raceway on Sunday.
[media-credit name=”CIA Stock Photo” align=”alignright” width=”245″][/media-credit]With this win, Gordon closed in on securing a top-10 position in the Chase and is also only 6 points out of 10th place that is held by Tony Stewart and teammate Ryan Newman.
“This is just an amazing experience, to experience this (Win) with my family,” Gordon said as he celebrated with his wife Ingrid and daughter Ella in victory lane.
Gordon started third and to lead 39 laps in route to his 84th career Sprint Cup Series win and his fifth top ten finish of the season.
Gordon also ties Bill Elliott for the most wins at five.
Carl Edwards had a real tough day as his car engine would fail to see the driver return to the track with 4 to go after sitting in the garage for 141 laps. Leaving this race, Edwards has only a six point advantage of Jimmie Johnson (4th in the race), halfway to the Chase.
“One of the valves got in an argument with something in the engine and lost. We broke one valve. We don’t think it is from an over rev or anything, we just think it was a parts failure. This is a great car and a great engine. We were running really well and I was babying the engine a little bit and not shifting too much. It is just one of those things.” Edwards said.
Pole setter Kurt Busch dropped back in the field during the race but had a resurgence to finish second.
LAP BY LAP breakdown
GREEN FLAG as Kurt Busch and Paul Menard bring the 43 engines to life. Between turns one and two some of the field spreads out to four wide, but as it quickly grew it shrinks back to two wide as the drivers enter the tunnel turn.
Denny Hamlin, four time winner at Pocono takes the lead. Lap 3 a few early movers see Juan Pablo Montoya move up three positions from 16th to 13th.
We see an “Early Move” on the front stretch between Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch as Harvick on the outside of Busch, “Gets Loose” where Harvick’s car “Drifts” down towards Busch’s where the two are almost on the apron all the way to turn one.
Lap 6 Hamlin in clean air pulls away from Menard by 1.7 seconds and Kurt Busch 2 seconds. Jamie McMurray is an early mover into 9th from his 13th place start. We hear reports that Tony Raines’ car is breaking off the side skirt of his car, but has not fully come off yet.
YELLOW FLAG lap 8 as the side skirt comes off Raines’ car in turn one, no lucky dog. Rain had hit the track last night, so NASCAR will have a competition caution on lap 20 so the teams will not be allowed to refuel until that time.
The field splits in half on who is coming in and who stays out. Menard and Hamlin remain in front.
GREEN FLAG lap 12 as it’s three wide between Menard, Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch. Lap 14 Jimmie Johnson started his day 14th where he currently runs 14th. Other movers on the track from the back of the pack see Matt Kenseth running 13th (up 14) from his start of the day.
Lap 17 the head games between Harvick and Kyle Busch continue where NASCAR asks that they get into the race and have a nice day.
YELLOW FLAG lap 18 for debris in turn three. No lucky dog yet. This will be also the competition yellow. Scott Riggs takes his car to the garage. Everyone heads to pit road. The first five driver back to the track see Montoya, Brad Keselowski, Brian Vickers, Hamlin and Kasey Kahne. A big move on pit road for Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s team takes only two tires to move him into sixth.
Scott Wimmer did not pit and is on the front row.
GREEN FLAG lap 22 for Montoya and Wimmer. By turn two Hamlin is the leader. With the last stop we have a shakeup in the top ten. Lap 25 your top ten drivers are Hamlin, Montoya, Kurt Busch, Vickers, Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards, Kahne, Harvick and Johnson.
Lap 27 Kyle Busch started 34th where is currently scored in 13th. Hamlin is 2.3 seconds in front of the field and Montoya. Jeff Burton started 33rd and is 14th. Lap 33 Jeff Gordon passes Keselowski for 7th. Lap 35 Hamlin is now 3 seconds in front of Montoya, 3.8 in front of 3rd place Kurt Busch, 5.9 in front of 4th place Edwards and 7.9 in front of 5th place Earnhardt Jr.
Lap 38 we see a 13th place battle between Ryan Newman and Kyle Busch where Newman takes the position. We hear that around ten laps until pit stops, but we are hearing talk of rain or mist in turn 1. Lap 40 Harvick heads to pit road early as the team did not get all the fuel in the car, so he may be in early for the weather as well.
Lap 41 more talk of rain, but this is Pocono and a usual item is to have red flags for a rain delay, but we usually get the race in. On the lap down list we see Scott Riggs down 24 in the garage, J.J. Yeley in the garage and 19 down, Michael McDowell down 13 along with Joe Nemechek, T.J. Bell down 9, Wimmer down 7, Raines down 6, Sam Hornish Jr. 2 down.
Lap 44 pit stops begin. Lap 46 leader Hamlin is in for his stop allowing Johnson to take the lead. Johnson has not pitted yet. It looks like Johnson may have run out of fuel as he ran through turn three. Lap 49 pit cycles are complete for the leaders leaving Hamlin in the lead over Montoya by 2.5 seconds.
Lap 50 your top twenty drivers are Hamlin, Montoya, Edwards, Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon, Harvick, Kahne, Keselowski, Earnhardt Jr., Johnson, Newman, Burton, Kyle Busch, Vickers, Marcos Ambrose, David Ragan, Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and Clint Bowyer.
Lap 57 this round of green flag laps Hamlin has not gained the distance on Montoya like his last run. Hamlin is 2.7 seconds in front of Montoya. Johnson moved past Earnhardt Jr. to take 5th a few laps ago.
Lap 59 some drivers that have fallen off pace are Reutimann down to 20th from his start of 9th, Regan Smith running 22nd from his start of 5th.
Lap 60 Edwards takes his car to the garage for some reason, this will be a change in points for the overall chase. We hear that Edwards lost a cylinder in his motor. Lap 65 the gap between Hamlin and Montoya has not changed however they both have left the field behind where 3rd place Kurt Busch is 9.2 seconds back, 4th place Jeff Gordon is 9.3 seconds back and challenging for 3rd with 5th place Johnson 13.9 seconds back.
Lap 67 Jeff Gordon takes third from Kurt Busch. Lap 67 into 68 pit stops begin as Reutimann, Truex Jr. and a few others are in. Lap 69 Ragan, Vickers and Martin are in. This is followed by Stewart, Burton, Biffle and Ambrose are in.
Lap 70 Newman, Kyle Busch and six others are in. Lap 72 Kahne, Joey Logano are in with Johnson, Earnhardt Jr., Montoya. Trouble for Johnson as the team is hung up on the front right tire. Lap 74 Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch are in.
Lap 75 Hamlin is getting great fuel mileage and not pitted yet. Lap 77 Hamlin is in with Montoya 36 seconds back. Hamlin’s team has issues with the stop allowing Montoya to take the lead an battle with Jeff Gordon for second place.
Lap 78 the current top ten see Montoya, Hamlin, Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch, Johnson, Kahne, Earnhardt Jr., Harvick, Newman and Kyle Busch holding those spots. Lap 81 Keselowski is in with a reported loose rear wheel.
Lap 87 Montoya leads Hamlin by 3.8 seconds. 27 drivers remain on the lead lap. Paul Menard who started 2nd has fallen 20 positions at this point in the race. On the lap down list we see Keselowski with the reported vibration which has not left his car, Dave Blaney, Landon Cassill, Casey Mears, and David Gilliland.
Two laps down on lap 90 we see Mike Bliss, 3 laps down is Andy Lally. Raines is 13 laps down.
Edwards is in the garage 13 laps down, but the team works on tearing apart his engine to get him back in the race.
Lap 93 trouble for Burton as he drives on the access road in turn three where he reports he may be out of fuel. Seeing this issue Mark Martin, Vickers and a few others are in which kicks off a new round of pit stops.
Vickers is busted for speeding coming out of pit road.
Lap 103 (97 to go) after stops are completed, we see as the current top twenty drivers as Montoya back in the lead followed by Hamlin 5 seconds back, Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch, Johnson, Kahne, Earnhardt Jr., Harvick, Kyle Busch, Newman, Stewart, Greg Biffle, Kenseth, Bowyer, Keselowski, Ragan, Reutimann, Logano, Truex Jr. and Smith.
So far we have seen 9 lead changes among 6 leaders and 2 cautions.
Lap 106 we are hearing reports that Truex Jr., may have some kind of leak from his car.
YELLOW FLAG lap 110 and A.J. Allmendinger is the lucky dog. All the leaders head to pit road. Montoya is back in front followed by Jeff Gordon, Hamlin, Kurt Busch and Kahne.
GREEN FLAG lap 117 as Kurt Busch and Jeff Gordon pass Montoya for the lead. By turn three Hamlin passes Montoya for third. Montoya took only two tires while the rest took four.
Lap 121 Kurt Busch runs a half second in front of Jeff Gordon. Lap 122 battle for 9th as Earnhardt Jr. passes Kahne. Allmendinger passed Smith for 19th. Lap 123 it’s Biffle versus Kenseth for 14th, but while they are working on that, Menard is passed by both drivers.
Lap 124 Ambrose is having issues as the transmission fails in his car where he makes it to pit road. Lap 125 your top ten drivers are Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon, Hamlin, Montoya, Stewart, Johnson, Kyle Busch, Newman, Earnhardt Jr. and Harvick.
Lap 132 Kurt Busch leads Jeff Gordon by 1.2 seconds now. Biffle and Kenseth have moved up 11th and 12th as well as Biffle passing Kenseth. Menard has slipped back to 16th. Lap 133 we hear that Stewart has lost third gear.
Lap 139 Kurt Busch has gained and additional second on Jeff Gordon to make it 2.1 seconds. Hamlin in third is 4.3 seconds back. Lap 140 pit stops are underway once again.
Lap 143 as stops are complete Kurt Busch is back in the lead followed by Jeff Gordon 1.8 seconds back in second.
Lap 145 the drivers are spread out pretty far with the biggest battle on the track is Ragan versus Reutimann for 15th and Logano is now in the mix in between both drivers running 16th.
Lap 150 your top twenty drivers are Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon, Hamlin, Montoya, Johnson, Kyle Busch, Newman, Kenseth, Harvick, Earnhardt Jr., Stewart, Biffle, Truex Jr., Kahne, Ragan, Logano, Reutimann, Menard, Smith and Keselowski.
Lap 151 the Ragan Logano battle continues as the two jockey back and forth for 15th. Reutimann has dropped out of the picture. In fact on lap 152 Menard may pass Reutimann for 17th.
YELLOW FLAG lap 155 for debris. Martin is the lucky dog. This was an issue from Hamlin losing a rear tire.
GREEN FLAG lap 159 (41 to go) as the familiar drivers of Montoya once again with the two tire stop and Jeff Gordon lead the drivers racing into turn one. Gordon has big help from Johnson to take the lead. We almost see three wide as Kurt Busch passes Montoya and Johnson.
39 to go we see Hamlin smoking from the left rear tire. Someone must have tagged the fender to cause the issue. 38 to go lots of action on the track as Earnhardt Jr. battles with Kahne for 13th and takes the position.
37 to go Gordon leads Kurt Busch by 1 second and Kyle Busch in third by 2.7 seconds. 36 to go Earnhardt Jr. is challenged by Reutimann who passes Kahne for the 13th spot. Logano is now in the mix after passing both Kahne and Reutimann.
35 to go Hamlin and Bowyer enter the action by passing Reutimann and closing in on Kahne.
34 to go as Biffle spins out at the entrance to pit road and out of the racing area where the race remains green. Earnhardt moves up to 12th. 33 to go Earnhardt slips past Smith to take over 11th.
30 to go as we see the start of green flag stops. 28 to go Montoya is in for a four tire stop. 27 to go Burton and Menard are in. 26 to go Harvick head in along with Logano, Kahne, Ragan, Martin and a few others.
25 to go Hamlin is in along with Earnhardt Jr. and Johnson. 24 to go Kyle Busch is in along with Newman and Kenseth. Truex Jr. is in.
24 to go Gordon and Kurt Busch are in. 23 to go we still have Cassill and Keselowski who need to pit, after that Gordon will be the leader with Kyle Busch and Kurt Busch in his tracks. Gordon is three seconds in front of the two brothers.
20 to go as Gordon passes Keselowski for 2nd place and closes in on Cassill. Your top ten at the moment are Cassill, Gordon, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Keselowski, Montoya, Johnson, Harvick, Earnhardt Jr. and Kenseth.
18 to go Gordon take the lead as Kurt Busch closes in on Cassill to take it in turn two. 17 to go Newman has lost his third gear. We hear the McMurray lost his third gear a while back as well.
16 to go Gordon in front of Kurt Busch by 1.9 seconds and Kyle Busch by 3.2 seconds.
13 to go as Cassill heads to pit road Harvick closes in on Montoya for 5th place.
12 to go Keselowski heads to pit road. Harvick challenges Montoya for 5th on the inside. 11 to go Earnhardt Jr. is in the mix for 5th.
10 to go Earnhardt Jr. passes Montoya for 6th.
9 to go Biffle is in for his last stop. Gordon leads Kurt Busch by 2 seconds.
8 to go Earnhardt Jr. works on Harvick for 5th.
7 to go Gordon over Kurt Busch by 2.4 seconds and third place Kyle Busch by 6 seconds.
5 to go as Gordon crosses the stripe. If there are no issues Gordon looks to be the winner.
4 to go as Edwards is back in the race after helping the TNT broadcast for 30 laps.
3 to go Gordon over Kurt Busch by 2.6 seconds.
2 to go for Gordon as Kenseth is challenging Montoya for 7th place.
WHITE FLAG for Gordon and the race is his unless he makes any mistakes. Turn one looks good. The tunnel turn is clean. The last corner has no issues and chalk up win number 84 for Jeff Gordon.
CHECKERED FLAG for Jeff Gordon.
The rest of the top ten is Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Johnson, Harvick, Earnhardt Jr., Montoya, Kenseth, Newman and Truex Jr.
The race lasted for three and a half hours. We saw 18 lead changes among 10 leaders. 4 cautions occurred in the race.
|Unofficial Race Results|
|5-Hour Energy 500, Pocono Raceway|
|6||21||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||38|
|10||31||56||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||34|
|32||24||71||Andy Lally *||Ford||12|
|35||26||38||Sam Hornish Jr.||Ford||0|
|39||43||150||T.J. Bell *||Toyota||0|