Jeff Gordon Wins Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono, Officials End Race Due to Rain

Chris Hummer@chris_hummerAnalyst IAugust 5, 2012

LONG POND, PA - AUGUST 05:  Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, leads Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Fastenal Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 5, 2012 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Jeff Gordon can thank a restart and a timely downpour for his first win of the season at the Pennsylvania 400.

The veteran stumbled onto the win, as his teammate Jimmie Johnson crashed on a restart on Lap 91, allowing Gordon to slide into the lead.

From there, mother nature took over, and after a period of significant rain, NASCAR officials called the race.


The race is official. @jeffgordonweb wins a record 6th race @poconoraceway #NASCAR

— NASCAR (@NASCAR) August 5, 2012


The win is Gordon's 86th of his career, but even the four-time points champion had never seen a finish quite like today's at Pocono.

Johnson seemed poised for his second straight victory, but he lost the lead when he crashed into Matt Kenseth, who was attempting to pass him on the Lap 91 restart.

The crash caused a chain reaction at the front, clamming up many of the leaders, and allowed Gordon to snatch the lead.

It was a crazy moment, and it was made all the more strange when the rain came minutes later, forcing the race to end early.


But Gordon wasn't complaining. He's had one of the unluckiest years on the circuit this season, and this break was just what he needed to get back into the points race.

"I've never seen the seas part quite like that before," Gordon told USA Today. "I got a great restart, saw the 48 get sideways and just thought, 'Wow.'"

"All the things that have gone wrong for us this year, I'm hoping this is the one that makes up for it."

The win jumped Gordon up two spots in the points standings from 15th to 13th, and now he's only one place out of the chase with five races remaining.

It may have been lucky, but this rain-shortened win could be just the break Gordon needs.