Gordon Nears Earnhardt's Record

Jeff Gordon has edged closer to Dale Earnhardt's record of 80 NASCAR wins, when he grabbed his 72nd win at the Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday

Gordon Nears Earnhardt's Record

Gordon led 139 of the 194 laps of the Aaron's 499 event, taking him to third in the points - 151 behind standings leader and teammate Jimmie Johnson. The four times champion, who began from second, took the lead on the first lap, overtaking pole sitter Kevin Harvick at the start.

The race's first caution period began on lap 21, after Kyle Petty cut a tyre and hit the wall. Gordon took advantage of the caution period and drove into the pits to change tyres. Mike Wallace, in the mean time, took the lead.

Three laps later, with the green flag, Gordon resumed his lead but lost it to Tony Stewart a dozen laps later. The two battled it out throughout the race, with Stewart eventually ending in second.

Halfway came the second caution period, when Bobby Hamilton Jr. blew out his left front tyre. The third period followed just 14 laps later, as Petty's Dodge stops on the track.

However, the big crash of the day came on lap 132 - no less than 24 cars were damaged in a major collision that began when Mike Wallace and Johnson touched after Dale Earnhardt Jr bump drafted Wallace nearing Turn 1. Ten of the drivers involved were taken to the medical centre, but all were released uninjured.

The race is red-flagged, and once the race is resumed, Gordon takes back the lead from teammate Johnson. By lap 151, Gordon had led 99 laps of the race - his own career best at Talladega.

Just 8 laps before the end of the race, another major collision occurred, with six cars damaged after Johnson and Harvick rubbed, forcing Truex into Earnhardt Jr's car.

With two laps left, the race was green-flagged for the final time, Gordon resuming his lead. Behind him, Michael Waltrip and Stewart made a run past McMurray and tried to overtake Gordon for the win, but without success. The three Chevrolet drivers crossed the finish line after 194 laps, with Gordon taking his second consecutive Aaron's 499 win.

Results of the Aaron's 499 at the Talladega Superspeedway:

Pos Driver Make Laps 1. Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 194 2. Tony Stewart Chevrolet 194 3. Michael Waltrip Chevrolet 194 4. Jeremy Mayfield Dodge 194 5. Jamie McMurray Dodge 194 6. Elliott Sadler Ford 194 7. Kurt Busch Ford 194 8. Ken Schrader Dodge 194 9. Dale Jarrett Ford 194 10. Jeff Burton Chevrolet 194 11. Matt Kenseth Ford 194 12. Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 194 13. Greg Biffle Ford 194 14. Casey Mears Dodge 193 15. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 193 16. Johnny Sauter Dodge 192 17. Kerry Earnhardt Chevrolet 190 18. Travis Kvapil Dodge 188 19. Dave Blaney Chevrolet 187 20. Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 186 21. Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet 186 22. Rusty Wallace Dodge 180 23. Bobby Labonte Chevrolet 174 24. Kasey Kahne Dodge 172 25. Jeff Green Dodge 172 26. Jason Leffler Chevrolet 171 27. Scott Riggs Chevrolet 171 28. Mike Wallace Chevrolet 171 29. Hermie Sadler Ford 170 30. Ricky Rudd Ford 170 31. Joe Nemechek Chevrolet 169 32. Carl Edwards Ford 166 33. Mark Martin Ford 166 34. Sterling Marlin Dodge 162 35. Boris Said Chevrolet 146 36. Mike Bliss Chevrolet 141 37. Scott Wimmer Dodge 140 38. Brian Vickers Chevrolet 139 39. Ryan Newman Dodge 135 40. Bobby Hamilton Jr. Chevrolet 132 41. Kyle Busch Chevrolet 132 42. Mike Skinner Dodge 132 43. Kyle Petty Dodge 106 
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