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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]
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 ENEOS Chevrolet, is involved in an incident during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, qualified for seventh position Friday, August 22, 2014 for Saturday evening`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Busch is 23rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, qualified for second position Friday, August 22, 2014 for Saturday evening`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Gordon leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmie John`s Chevrolet SS, won the pole position Friday, August 22, 2014 for Saturday evening`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Harvick is sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, poses with the pole award after qualifying fastest for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, poses with his wife DeLana, son Keelan, and the pole award after qualifying fastest for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, and the rest of the field during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, August 17, 2014 in the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy Johns Chevrolet SS finished second. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates with a burnout after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
With General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, holds the Michigan Heritage Trophy after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. In 2013, MIS began awarding the Michigan Heritage Trophy as a recognition and celebration of the automobile and it`s importance to the race track and the manufacturers competing in NASCAR. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates with his crew after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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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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