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Gordon gives Hendrick family Daytona win.

Jeff Gordon joined the list of triple Daytona 500 winners as he held off a 'green-white-chequered' charge from reigning Nextel Cup Champion Kurt Busch and defending Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Gordon won the longest '500' in the 47 year history of 'The Great American Race' as NASCAR's much debated 'GWC' ruling allowed the Daytona fans to witness a dramatic, spectacular and emotional conclusion to what had been a tense battle of wits between all the major Nextel Cup players.

After following the seemingly unbeatable Tony Stewart for more than half of the 200 laps, Gordon grabbed the lead in the seconds leading up to the final caution period of the day, inching ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr coming out of turn two with three laps remaining just as Kasey Kahne suffered a puncture and swiped the wall.

After trying to work together in their attempts to oust Stewart, Gordon Earnhardt Jr and Kurt Busch found themselves pitted against one another in the first ever Daytona 500 'green-white-chequered' finish.

But while the three lap sprint to the finish saw plenty of two and three wide racing just behind the leaders, primarily as the thoroughly disgruntled Stewart tried to regain the ground he lost when Earnhardt Jr led a charge by the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet with five laps remaining, there was no change at the front.

Clinging to the almost impregnable low line, Gordon managed to hold off the combined might of Roush Racing and DEI with his Hendrick Motorsport Chevrolet, as he took his first '500 win since 1999, despite only leading twice for a total of 29 laps.

Busch started his title defence well, even though he failed to lead a lap as a result of Stewart almost total dominance of the event. Busch's cause was not helped by the fact that he was one of many drivers to incur the wrath of NASCAR's new electronic method of monitoring the pit lane speed limit, the defending champ having to serve a drive through penalty that left him mired in 25th, more than half a lap behind the leaders.

One of several debris related caution periods saved Busch, who quickly moved back to the front of the pack but was unable to make a move on Stewart.

Even the ever-powerful Earnhardt Jr only led two laps all day, taking the lead for the first time all day with his move on Stewart at the conclusion of lap 194.



Related Pictures

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#24 DuPont Chevrolet Monte Carlo-Jeff Gordon practices for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach,Fl- Feb. 2005. ©Dorsey Patrick
2/12/05 Daytona Beach, FL
Ford Taurus driver Kurt Busch waves to the crowd during driver intros for the Budweiser Shootout.
Photo Credit: Autostock
#8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo-Dale Earnhardt Jr. practices  for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fl.-Feb.2005. ©Bob LeSieur
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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)
Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, Trevor Bayne, driver of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, Justin Allgaier, driver of the #51 Brandt Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, and Michael Annett, driver of the #7 Allstate Peterbilt/Pilot Chevrolet, are involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, lead the field to start 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)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, races Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, during 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)
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Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, captured the pole position Friday, August 15, 2014 for Sunday`s Pure Michigan NASCAR Sprint Cup 400 race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. The was Gordon`s second pole position this season. He set a new track record in the final round of qualifying with a lap of 206.558 mph. Gordon is second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates capturing the pole position Friday, August 15, 2014 for Sunday`s Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. The was Gordon`s second pole position this season. He set a new track record in the final round of qualifying with a lap of 206.558 mph. Gordon is second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 15, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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