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Jeff Gordon takes Pocono victory

Jeff Gordon won his second Cup race of 2011, all but assuring his passage into the Chase, after strong restarts and a flawless final pit stop put him in front of polesitter Kurt Busch.
Jeff Gordon took his second win of the 2011 Sprint Cup season with the 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono Raceway - his 84th career win in 631 Cup races - to become only the fourth driver with multiple wins so far this year. That last fact alone should mean he makes it through to the post-season Chase via the wildcard even if he didn't get through on points alone.

Gordon took the lead by beating Kurt Busch out of the pits under caution on lap 157 and then jumping Juan Montoya at the restart; Gordon led for only 39 laps in the race while Denny Hamlin (who led for 76) suffered a flat tyre late in the race because of a missing valve stem, which caused bodywork and brake damage and sent him back to pit road.

A perfect late-race green flag stop on lap 177 clinched the deal for Gordon, who agreed that his crew shared the victory: "You guys won that one in the pits! Way to go!" he said over the team radio as he took the chequered flag.

Kyle Busch came in third place after early friction with old rival Kevin Harvick caused NASCAR to issue both drivers with a warning. Harvick seemed to be doing all he could to antagonise Busch first by repeatedly crowding him as they battled for position and then later following Busch to the inside and staying glued to the #18's bumper. NASCAR told both teams to stop fooling around and concentrate on the racing, which infuriated Busch.

"The #29 is all over me!" Busch retorted, and his crew chief Dave Rogers sought to calm his driver down by agreeing. "Keep your composure in that race car, bud," Rogers replied; "I've lost mine about four times already."

However Busch's troubles were not over when he finished the race in third place at the chequered flag. NASCAR subsequently announced that the #18 had failed post race inspection with a height issue on the left-front and had been removed to the NASCAR R&D Center for further investigation - serious penalties could follow later in the week.

Championship leader Carl Edwards suffered an engine failure 59 laps into the race and was forced to retire, meaning that his previous lead over Jimmie Johnson in Cup points has been dramatically cut back from 40pts to just six.

"One of the valves got in an argument with something in the engine and lost," Edwards explained. "We broke one valve. We don't think it was from an over-rev or anything. We just think it was a parts failure." He said it didn't seem to be related to the return of the need for drivers to shift gears during the Pocono event, after NASCAR made changes to gear ratio settings for the race.

Full results and times available.

Full race report available.



Related Pictures

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Jeff Gordon celebrates winning the 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono Raceway, his record-tying 5th victory at the track. [Picture Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Despite leading a race-high 76 laps, Denny Hamlin experienced trouble on lap 159, having to pit twice after his left rear tyre went flat. He finished 19th. [Picture Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images]
Kurt Busch leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series field to the green flag to start the 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono Raceway in June 2011 [Picture Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images]
Jeff Gordon and Juan Montoya battled for position throughout the 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono Raceway. [Picture Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, lead the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 1, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Fisher Nuts/Menards Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 on February 28, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmie John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet, suffers a mechanical issue during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 28, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #88 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 28, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #88 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 28, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
David Ragan, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, drives in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 27, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmie John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet, prepares to drive during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 27, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS qualifies in second position Friday, February 27, 2015 for a front row position start in Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #4 Energizer Chevrolet SS qualifies in sixth position Friday, February 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR Vice President of Innovation and Racing Development, speaks to members of the media after a testing session at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 26, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/NASCAR via Getty Images)
David Ragan, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, stands in the garage during a testing session at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 26, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Clint Bowyer drives the #15 5-Hour Energy Toyota during a testing session at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 26, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finishes in fifth place, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finishes in 33rd place in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Gordon, who led for 87 laps,  was involved in a multi-car incident on the last lap. (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS pulls into his pit on his way to a second place finish in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)

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jesse - Unregistered

June 14, 2011 11:47 PM

Can't find anywhere to say this so will say it here. Is it just me or am I the only one that can't understand why we must suffer through 2 pocono races every year what a Boring stupid race and then to have to watch it twice come on NASCAR lose one of them if not both please I beg u



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