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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]
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Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place, Saturday night, May 16, 2015, in the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series SpongeBob SquarePants 400 at Kansas Speedway on May 9, 2015 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Erik Jones, driver of the #18 M&M`s Red Nose Day Toyota, stands in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series SpongeBob SquarePants 400 at Kansas Speedway on May 8, 2015 in Kansas City, Kansas.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series Winn Dixie 300 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 2, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS, qualifies for second position Saturday, May 2, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. Kahne is sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Hendrick Motorsports teammate and Pole winner Jeff Gordon, driver of the #5 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS will join him on the front row Sunday. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, wins the Pole position Saturday, May 2, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. Gordon is tenth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS will join him on the front row Sunday. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, wins the Pole position Saturday, May 2, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. Gordon is tenth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS will join him on the front row Sunday. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, poses with Miss Coors Light Amanda Mertz and the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 2, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 2, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, finishes in sixth place and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place Sunday, April 19, 2015 in the rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place Sunday, April 19, 2015 in the rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Alan Marler/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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