Gordon wins as luck changes - NASCAR notes by Lugnut - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

NASCAR NOTES: Gordon wins as luck changes

Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
Glenn Campbell - "The Lugnut Cowboy" Glenn Campbell - "The Lugnut Cowboy"

To say that Jeff Gordon's year has been frustrating would be a vast understatement. The four-time champion has had more mechanical issues and bent sheet metal than at any other time in his career. However, on a rainy day in the Pocono Mountains, the popular driver's luck began to change.

His victory in last Sunday's rain-shortened Pennsylvania 400 was the first of the season for the No. 24 team and moved Gordon into the second wildcard position for the Chase.

"It's nice to know that at least things can still go our way," said Gordon from the dry confines of the media center. "This is a big boost for us as a team."

Gordon has had times this season where he was in a position to possibly win but each time, something denied him the victory.

"When we've had cars capable of winning races, like Martinsville," continued Gordon. "I can think of a handful of times we were in position to win and things didn't go our way for whatever reason."

As the caution came out just past the halfway mark and with rain eminent, Gordon seemed headed toward another near miss. On the ensuing restart, however, his luck suddenly changed.

As the field charged off into Turn 1, Gordon's teammate, Jimmie Johnson crashed into Matt Kenseth, leaving the door open for Gordon to move from sixth to first.

"The restarts here, especially in the closing laps, with the rain coming are crazy, it's absolutely crazy," said Gordon of his late race fortune.

As NASCAR cleared the debris from the accident, the rain began to fall handing Gordon his first victory of the season and giving him hope of a fifth championship title.

Even Gordon's fellow competitors feel like he can be a threat if he makes it to the postseason.

"Absolutely, it's Jeff Gordon" said third-place finisher Martin Truex Jr. when asked about Gordon's changes of winning a fifth Championship. "Even though he's had a lot of bad luck this year and a lot of things happen, he's been fast, especially lately, he's been very competitive."

With five races to go, Gordon is not assured of making the Chase. His one victory puts him in a good position, but he really needs another win to keep his championship hopes alive. With this new lucky streak in full motion, he should feel good about his chances.

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