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Jeff Gordon takes record win in truncated Pocono NASCAR Sprint Cup race after late drama for dominant Jimmie Johnson

Jeff Gordon claimed his first NASCAR Sprint Cup win of the season at Pocono after inheriting the lead on a wild final restart where a hitherto dominant Jimmie Johnson lost a clear shot at back-to-back wins

Four-time champion Gordon finally got a break in a season plagued with bad luck, moving up from 27th on the grid to claim a record sixth win at the track known as the 'Tricky Triangle'.

Although he was nowhere near as close to the battle for victory as last week at Indianapolis, this time Gordon was sitting in the right place, at the right time, to pick up a victory served on a plate by Johnson. The five-time champion was dominant again, leading 44 of the 98 laps run before rain halted proceedings, looking on course for a crushing victory.

That was until Johnson got loose on the inside of Matt Kenseth entering Turn 1 on what turned out to be the final restart of the race, where Gordon held his inside line as action unfolded up on the banking.

The rain that had delayed the start of the race by nearly two hours was always expected to return before the cars reached the scheduled 400 miles, and eventually a storm arrived during the third caution, following the Johnson-Kenseth incident.

Officials did not take long to declare the race officially over, with Gordon taking a crucial victory that now places him as the second wildcard entry into this year's Chase, with five races still to go before the play-off field is set.

"It's never over until it's over," said Gordon. "I've won races like this here before. The way our year has gone we'll definitely take it like this. Man, I've never seen the seas part quite like that before like they did going down into [Turn] 1.

"I got a great restart and was able to dive to the inside in front of Kasey [Kahne] and I saw the #48 [Johnson] get sideways and it just took them all out."

Despite the late disaster for Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr finishing down the order following a transmission failure after fighting at the front, the day turned out pretty well for Hendrick Motorsports.

Kahne rolled to second place with a punctured right-rear tyre following some transmission worries and Earnhardt held on to the points lead despite his 32nd place finish.

Johnson suggested after the race that a damaged tyre contributed to his clash with Kenseth.

"I must have hit some debris under caution because I had a soft right rear tyre for the restart. I didn't know until Turn 1 and things got exciting," Johnson wrote on his Twitter feed.

Kenseth was sceptical about Johnson's explanation of the incident, which happened as he was putting the pressure on the Hendrick driver on the outside at Turn 1.

Johnson's car slid sideways and up the banking, taking Kenseth with him. The #17 Roush Fenway Ford spun and was then collected head on by Denny Hamlin's Toyota.

"I don't think he had a flat, did he? I don't think so," Kenseth said. "I am not mad at him, it is just that you race for the win and I thought I gave enough room down there. He drove in hard because he is racing for the win too."

Before the the final caution another two had waved, first for Kyle Busch, whose Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota suffered a mechanical failure that caused him to end up hitting the wall. Later his brother Kurt also visited the barriers due to an apparent puncture on his Phoenix Racing Chevrolet.

Polesitter Juan Pablo Montoya led for the first seven laps but then dropped down the order with handling issues and crossed the finish line in 20th.

Results - 98 laps:

Pos  Driver              Team/Car                         Time/Gap
 1.  Jeff Gordon         Hendrick Chevrolet           1h45m34.000s
 2.  Kasey Kahne         Hendrick Chevrolet               + 1.371s
 3.  Martin Truex Jr     Waltrip Toyota                   + 2.843s
 4.  Brad Keselowski     Penske Dodge                     + 3.398s
 5.  Tony Stewart        Stewart-Haas Chevrolet           + 5.166s
 6.  Ryan Newman         Stewart-Haas Chevrolet           + 6.261s
 7.  Carl Edwards        Roush Fenway Ford                + 7.425s
 8.  Clint Bowyer        Waltrip Toyota                   + 8.228s
 9.  Regan Smith         Furniture Row Chevrolet          + 9.519s
10.  Marcos Ambrose      Petty Ford                      + 11.084s
11.  Paul Menard         Childress Chevrolet             + 12.571s
12.  Mark Martin         Waltrip Toyota                  + 14.198s
13.  Joey Logano         Gibbs Toyota                    + 15.923s
14.  Jimmie Johnson      Hendrick Chevrolet              + 17.236s
15.  Greg Biffle         Roush Fenway Ford               + 18.104s
16.  Kevin Harvick       Childress Chevrolet             + 19.406s
17.  Jamie McMurray      Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet     + 21.331s
18.  Aric Almirola       Petty Ford                      + 24.853s
19.  Sam Hornish Jr      Penske Dodge                    + 26.479s
20.  Juan Pablo Montoya  Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet     + 45.223s
21.  David Gilliland     Front Row Ford                  + 49.679s
22.  Jeff Burton         Childress Chevrolet             + 53.243s
23.  Matt Kenseth        Roush Fenway Ford               + 54.440s
24.  David Reutimann     Badldwin Chevrolet                + 1 lap
25.  Travis Kvapil       BK Toyota                         + 1 lap
26.  Landon Cassill      BK Toyota                         + 1 lap
27.  Bobby Labonte       JTG Daugherty Toyota             + 2 laps
28.  David Ragan         Front Row Ford                   + 2 laps


     Denny Hamlin        Gibbs Toyota                      90 laps
     Kurt Busch          Phoenix Chevrolet                 84 laps
     Jason White         FAS Lane Ford                     81 laps
     Dale Earnhardt Jr   Hendrick Chevrolet               80 laps*
     Kyle Busch          Gibbs Toyota                      74 laps
     David Stremme       Inception Toyota                  43 laps
     Casey Mears         Germain Ford                      40 laps
     Joe Nemechek        NEMCO Toyota                      37 laps
     Josh Wise           Front Row Ford                    34 laps
     Tony Raines         Baldwin Chevrolet                 31 laps
     Mike Bliss          Humphrey Smith Toyota             29 laps
     JJ Yeley            Max Q Chevrolet                   27 laps
     Mike Skinner        Parsons Ford                      26 laps
     Reed Sorenson       Humphrey Smith Ford               10 laps
     Scott Riggs         R3 Chevrolet                       9 laps

* Running again at finish

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