By Brian Willwerth
News flash: when talking about contenders for the Sprint Cup Championship, don’t count out the #24.
Jeff Gordon raced his way into victory lane Sunday in the 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono Raceway. With his second win of the season – he also won at Phoenix – he put himself in great position for the Chase, even with a long way to go. He took the lead on the final restart with 40 laps to go and never looked back. It was the 84th career victory for one of NASCAR’s stars.
The Busch brothers – Kurt and Kyle – finished second and third, respectively. But Kyle’s #18 machine failed post-race inspection because the left-front end was too low. NASCAR will decide on possible penalties, if any, later this week.
It was a rough day for the points’ leader, Carl Edwards. He blew an engine 58 laps into the race, and finished 37th. He is still atop the standings, but his lead is now just six points over Jimmie Johnson, and 10 over Dale Earnhardt Jr, who logged another solid top-ten finish (6th.)
THE WRECK WRAP
Aside from Greg Biffle doing a spin-o-rama – and ending up right on pit road no less – it was a pretty clean race. It figures that the number of wrecks would decline as soon as I start writing the Wrap, eh?
Next stop: the 2-mile track at Michigan International Speedway.