LONG POND, PA. — Jeff Gordon moved into a tie for third on NASCAR’s career victories list, winning for the 84th time when he took the checkered flag Sunday at Pocono Raceway.
Gordon led most of the final 40 laps and won for the second time this season. His 84 wins tie him with Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip for most in NASCAR history. Richard Petty leads with 200 wins and David Pearson is second with 105.
Busch, the pole-sitter, was second and Kyle Busch third. Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top five. Dale Earnhardt Jr. continued his rebirth with a sixth-place finish. It capped a great day for Hendrick Motorsports - first, fourth and sixth.
Gordon, the four-time Cup champion, first won at Pocono in 1996. He won again in 1997 and 1998, then waited until 2007 to reach victory lane again.
Team owner Rick Hendrick’s offseason decision to shake up his organization has proved an early success. Gordon and crew chief Alan Gustafson have the No. 24 Chevrolet in fantastic shape for a spot in the Chase for the championship.
“I feel a lot better about it, that’s for darn sure,” Gordon said.
Gordon entered the race having led a record 918 laps at Pocono Raceway.Some of the early contenders fell off. Denny Hamlin, who led early and has four wins here, ran into tire woes and dropped back to 19th. Carl Edwards lost his grip on the points lead when a bad engine knocked him out early.
Once those two were out of contention, the 500-mile race belonged to Gordon. The Busch brothers tried to catch him, but just didn’t have enough in the end.
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