After a rain delay of an hour-and-a-half at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, Jeff Gordon and the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet team turned the bad luck they'd experienced all season into good luck when they got by a in incident involving the front runners to take the lead just before a caution came out on lap 98 and drove around the track under caution until more rains came to end the race for good.
"The way our year has gone, we'll definitely take it," Gordon said.
I'd never seen the sea part like that.
His Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Kasey Kahne, limped around with a flat tire on his No. 5 Chevrolet under the final caution until the race was called to finish second. Mark Truex Jr. was third in the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota.
"We knew that restart was going to be key," No. 24 crew chief Alan Gustafson said.
Pole sitter Juan Pablo Montoya in the No. 42 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and fellow front row starter Denny Hamlin in the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota exchanged the lead several times in the opening laps before Hendrick Motorsports took control of the race on lap 15.
The No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet took the lead on that lap and was joined by HMS teammate Jimmie Johnson in the No. 48 Chevrolet in second position on lap 35.
Earnhardt fell off the pace for a broken transmission while leading the race on lap 50. He headed to the garage for repairs, handing the lead over to Johnson.
"It started missing some shifts and then going through the tunnel, it broke fourth," Earnhardt said. "Then trying to go back into third, it broke."
Johnson dominated the remainder of the race, leading most of the remaining laps with the exception of cycles of green-flag pit stops.
NASCAR scheduled a competition caution for lap 20, but an incident involving the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Kyle Busch on lap 19 served as that caution. The yellow flag didn't wave again until the No. 51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet of Kurt Busch hit the wall on lap 86.
The race restarted with Johnson in the lead and Kenseth alongside in second, but almost as soon as the green flag waved, Johnson's car got loose and Kenseth hit the wall. Johnson was able to continue, but was shuffled back to 14th in the running order.
"I'd never seen the sea part like that," Gordon said.
During the incident, Gordon was able to move into the lead, and Kahne followed to take the second spot. Rain returned during the caution, ending the race for good and giving HMS a one-two finish.
"The Hendrick Motorsports cars were really fast," Kahne said.
Brad Keselowski finished fourth in the No. 2 Penske Racing Dodge, and the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet of Tony Stewart rounded out the top-five.
The win puts Gordon into wild-card contention in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.