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Gordon wins opening Duel

Jeff Gordon secured his first NASCAR Sprint Cup win for more than a year at Daytona with victory in the opening Gatorade Duel race.

Gordon, who last won at Lowe's Motor Speedway back in October 2007, took the flag at the wheel of the #24 DuPont Chevrolet after making the most of fresh tyres in the closing stages of the 60 lap event, with Tony Stewart taking second and defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson third.

Johnson edged out impressive rookie Joey Logano for the position on the run to the line as the 18-year-old produced an assured driver at the wheel of the #20 Home Depot Toyota. Aric Almirola and Kurt Busch rounded out the top six.

Second place for Stewart secured him a place in the 500 with one of the transfer spots, while Scott Riggs also raced his way into the event thanks to an eighth place finish for the new Tommy Baldwin Racing team. Stewart's second place also gives Regan Smith a place in the 500.

The race itself featured a number of caution periods, with Daytona polesitter Martin Truex amongst the drivers in trouble after he suffered a spin – although he was able to keep his car out of the wall.

Bill Elliott, already locked into the race after his qualifying performance on Sunday, retired under caution after the transmission locked on his car and forced him to slide into the wall, while a multi-car incident in the closing stages involving Matt Kenseth, John Andretti, Sam Hornish, Casey Mears, Logano and Kirk Shelmerdine provided late drama and gave drivers chance to dive into the pits for fresh rubber – ultimately giving Gordon the chance to make his run for victory and end his winless streak.

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Related Pictures

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Jeff Gordon at Daytona [Pic credit: Getty for NASCAR]
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, sits in his car in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody`s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 25, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS qualified for 13th position Friday, October 24, 2014 for Sunday`s  Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Gordon, who is in the Chase, is 7th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings.  (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, climbs into his car prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody`s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, left, talks with crew chief Alan Gustafson in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody`s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finished in 26th position and Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Chevrolet SS finished in 13th position Sunday, October 19, 2014 in the final Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Gordon, who was in the Chase, advances to the Eliminator 8 phase of the Chase which begins next week at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Halloween Toyota, and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 17, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Doublemint Toyota, and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, lead the field to the green flag for the running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 11, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Green, driver of the #91 SupportMilitary.org Toyota, Matt Dibenedetto, driver of the #40 Curtis Key Plumbing Chevrolet, Joey Gase, driver of the #52 Chevrolet, and Kevin Swindell, driver of the #93 JGL Racing Dodge, are involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Drive For The Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 10, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS qualified for second position Thursday, October 9, 2014 putting him on the front row for Saturday night`s Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. Gordon, who is in the Chase, is eighth 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, climbs into his car before qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 9, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr. at Chicagoland. July 18 2014. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, races Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Fastenal Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 5, 2014 in Kansas City, Kansas.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS qualified for fifth position October 3, 2014 for Sunday`s Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. Gordon is second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings, now in the Contender 12 round of the Chase. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon drives the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 3, 2014 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS races to win Sunday, September 28, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Gordon advances to the Contender 12 phase of the Chase which begins next Sunday at Kansas Speedway.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS celebrates his victory with his daughter, Ella Sofia Sunday, September 28, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Gordon advances to the Contender 12 phase of the Chase which begins next Sunday at Kansas Speedway.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS celebrates his victory win Sunday, September 28, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Gordon advances to the Contender 12 phase of the Chase which begins next Sunday at Kansas Speedway.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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james baker - Unregistered

October 04, 2009 4:23 PM

jeff i am 62 and have been a fan of yours since you started in nascar. but here lately you are a disapointting a lot of your fans. you need to get back to your old ways of driving. i know you have a family now but you also have fans. anyway good luck but i know you have no chance of another championship.



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