Race: NASCAR Nextel Cup Pocono 500 (Race 14 of 36) Pond, Pa. Weather: Race start delayed three hours by rain followed by a rain-shortened end. Winner: Jeff Gordon, driver of the ...
Race: NASCAR Nextel Cup Pocono 500 (Race 14 of 36)
Weather: Race start delayed three hours by rain followed by a rain-shortened end.
Winner: Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Chevrolet from Hendrick Motorsports
Top-five finishers: Gordon, Ryan Newman, Martin Truex Jr., Casey Mears and Tony Stewart.
Race Recap: Shortly after the Pocono 500 was red flagged for rain at lap 106 of a scheduled 200 while Jeff Gordon was at the front, he was declared the winner, thanks to smart pit strategy.
Gordon snagged his fourth victory this season, making it 10 wins out of the 12 Nextel Cup points races this season for the Hendrick Motorsports team of drivers.
Gordon's crew chief Steve LeTarte gambled and won with his call to pit out of sequence when the car's brakes were balking and dark clouds were moving in, taking Gordon out of the lead. However, when the other teams pitted, Gordon resumed the lead and was holding off a challenge from Ryan Newman when a downpour caused NASCAR to stop the race. A race must get past the half-way point to be an official contest, so after a 35-minute rain delay, Gordon was declared the winner.
The race had four cautions for 15 laps and 15 lead changes among eight drivers. It lasted. It ran just over 1 hour and 15 minutes before ending early.
Gordon continues to lead the championship points chase, with Matt Kenseth behind by 242 points, followed by Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Burton.
Goodyear comment from Phil Holmer, marketing manager for NASCAR racing: "The new tire setup for Pocono worked exceptionally well from our standpoint. While it's unfortunate for the fans that the race ended early, they still got to see some very competitive racing through the 106 laps."
Other weekend NASCAR events:
The Busch Series raced Saturday at Nashville Speedway at the 1.33-mile Tennessee track where Nextel Cup regular Carl Edwards claimed the win after completing the 225 laps and averaging 129.949 mph. He crossed the line 1.656 seconds ahead of Clint Bowyer, who was followed by Jason Leffler, Scott Wimmer and Regan Smith. There were five cautions for 15 laps and 12 lead changes among seven drivers.
The Craftsman Truck Series saw Todd Bodine win at the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway on Friday. He bested Mike Skinner by 0.188 seconds at the finish. Rounding out the top five were Rick Crawford, Ron Hornaday Jr., and David Starr. There were six cautions for 42 laps and 12 lead changes among six drivers.
-credit: goodyear racing