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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
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 United States Air Force Ford, walks through the garage area prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Scott Halleran/NASCARA via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, lead a group of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Patriotic Chevrolet, climbs from his car after being involved in an on track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, is involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
A large incident occurs in turn three during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 United States Air Force Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 after the race was called for weather at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 United States Air Force Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 after the race was called for weather at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 United States Air Force Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 after the race was called for weather at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Hellmann`s Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Subway Firecracker 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Scott Halleran/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Hellmann`s Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Subway Firecracker 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dakoda Armstrong, driver of the #43 Fresh from Florida Ford, and Trevor Bayne, driver of the #6 AdvoCare Ford, lead the field to start the NASCAR Nationwide Series Subway Firecracker 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Hellmann`s Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane with Jared Fogle of Subway after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Subway Firecracker 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brendan Gaughan, driver of the #62 South Point Chevrolet, spins out during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Subway Firecracker 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/NASCAR via Getty Images)
David Ragan, driver of the #98 Carroll Shelby Engine Ford, and Elliott Sadler, driver of the #11 SportClips Toyota, spin out during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Subway Firecracker 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
David Gilliland, driver of the #38 Love`s Travel Stops Ford, poses with Ms. Coors Light, Rachel Rupert, after winning the Coors Light Pole Award for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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