Jun 11 2007

Jeff Gordon Wins in Pocono

Jeff Gordon wins rain shortened race in Pocono
When it’s your year, it’s just your year. Jeff Gordon and Steve Letarte made a gutsy call, staying out when most everyone else pitted, to put them off pit cycle with the rest of the lead cars, and it wound up paying off with their fourth win of the season. As the rain started to come down, Ryan Newman was closing on Jeff Gordon, had it been raining on a different section of the track, Jeff might’ve finished in second and Ryan could’ve won it, either way, a gutsy call would’ve been rewarded with a nice finish. This is the fourth time Jeff has lucked out and won a rain shortened race.

This may be the surest sign yet that everything is falling into place this season for Jeff Gordon: Even the dark clouds hovering above him are bringing him luck.

With his brakes failing and Ryan Newman nipping at the No. 24′s bumper (watch video), Gordon was begging for the skies to open and let that rain start coming and not stop until he was in Victory Lane.

With dark clouds closing in and Gordon’s brakes on the fritz, crew chief Steve Letarte called the car into the pits for an early service call. Gordon relinquished the lead on the stop, but Letarte figured his driver would cycle back to the front after everyone else made their scheduled stops.

And he assumed it would start raining while Gordon was leading. It was a gamble, because the earlier pit stop had put Gordon off sequence with the rest of the field. If it didn’t rain quickly, he’d have to pit much earlier than everyone else and would fall deep into the field after the stop. Source: Gordon beats weather to win rain-shortened Pocono

Ryan Newman took it in stride saying his first win came in a situation almost exactly the same, a rain shortened race because it got to dark to race. Ryan has had eight poles since his last win, with a second last week and this week, they are on the rise, but just can’t seem to finish the good start they get almost every week.

With the new format for the chase this year, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson are both sitting pretty, with four wins apiece, they will start the chase with forty bonus points ahead of anyone who hasn’t won a race. Denny Hamlin was not very happy about the race and about how the chase is turning out. They figure they should’ve won at least three races already, and this one probably makes four in their eyes, as Jeff did not have the best car, just the best call on a rainy afternoon. Will other teams start gambling more to try to even it up, or just play it safe to get in the chase? It’s starting to get interesting to say the least.

Here is how they finished:

1 18 24 Jeff Gordon
2 1 12 Ryan Newman
3 3 1 Martin Truex Jr.
4 12 25 Casey Mears
5 6 20 Tony Stewart
6 2 11 Denny Hamlin
7 34 01 Mark Martin
8 4 5 Kyle Busch
9 24 17 Matt Kenseth
10 5 07 Clint Bowyer
11 19 29 Kevin Harvick
12 13 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
13 10 31 Jeff Burton
14 32 99 Carl Edwards
15 33 13 Joe Nemechek
16 27 2 Kurt Busch
17 11 18 J.J. Yeley
18 31 10 Scott Riggs
19 26 43 Bobby Labonte
20 38 42 Juan Montoya
21 15 19 Elliott Sadler
22 8 9 Kasey Kahne
23 29 40 David Stremme
24 22 41 Reed Sorenson
25 35 45 Chad McCumbee
26 36 6 David Ragan
27 30 88 Ricky Rudd
28 21 15 Paul Menard
29 25 26 Jamie McMurray
30 41 16 Greg Biffle
31 42 14 Sterling Marlin
32 39 66 Jeff Green
33 20 4 Ward Burton
34 16 38 David Gilliland
35 9 83 Brian Vickers
36 17 96 Tony Raines
37 43 21 Bill Elliott
38 23 00 David Reutimann
39 28 84 A.J. Allmendinger
40 40 70 Johnny Sauter
41 37 7 Robby Gordon
42 7 48 Jimmie Johnson
43 14 22 Dave Blaney

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