Report: Gordon's Atlanta win

Jeff Gordon took his second straight Winston Cup victory at Atlanta today (Monday), fending off a strong challenge from Tony Stewart in the closing laps of the event, which was delayed from yesterday because of rain

Report: Gordon's Atlanta win

Four-time champion Gordon, who also won last weekend at Martinsville, took the lead from Bobby Labonte on lap 277 and was never headed again on his way to his third victory of the year.

Stewart started down in 24th, but surged forward to dominate the early part of the race until problems in the pits dropped him back down the order. The reigning champion quickly battled back to the front, but couldn't find a way past Gordon. His charge was ended when Ryan Newman crashed with three laps to go, ensuring the event finished under caution.

"It felt like we were going to have a great race car and we certainly did," said Gordon. "I knew it was going to be hard to hold off Tony, and I'm kind of surprised that we did. I just tried to run that line and get through the lapped traffic the best I could."

Jimmie Johnson, Gordon's protégé, finished third, ahead of veteran Bill Elliott and Bobby Labonte.

Points leader Matt Kenseth further strengthened his grip on this year's title by finishing 11th, although he was made to work for the result after becoming involved in a multi-car pile-up on lap 45, just six laps after the race was restarted. Kenseth dropped to 37th while his pit crew repaired the damage, but clever strategy helped him up the order. Kenseth's closest title rival, Kevin Harvick, could only finish 20th despite leading the race early on.

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