Pocono, PA (Sports Network) - Mother Nature gave Jeff Gordon a huge birthday present on Sunday at Pocono Raceway.
One day after turning 41 years old, Gordon put himself back into contention to make this year's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship by winning the rain- shortened Pennsylvania 400 at this 2.5-mile triangular racetrack. He now has the most victories here with six.
Gordon was running outside the top-five after a restart on lap 91, but leader Jimmie Johnson lost control heading into turn one and slid up the track into second-place runner Matt Kenseth, causing a multi-car crash. That allowed Gordon to wiggle his way into the lead just before the caution flag waved.
Kasey Kahne moved up to second but suffered a flat tire during the incident. Kahne remained on the track during the caution.
The race was stopped on lap 99 when rain began falling on the track. A severe thunderstorm moved over the area, forcing NASCAR to call the event 62 laps short of its scheduled 400-mile distance.
Gordon claimed his 86th career victory in the Sprint Cup Series. His first win of the season allowed him to take over the second and final wild card spot, as five races remain before the Chase begins. Kahne, who is Gordon's teammate at Hendrick Motorsports, kept the first wild card position following his second- place run.
Martin Truex Jr. finished third, followed by Brad Keselowski, who won this race one year ago. Tony Stewart, the defending series champion, completed the top-five.
Johnson, who won last weekend's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, ended up finishing 14th. Dale Earnhardt Jr. suffered a transmission problem 50 laps into the race and wound up in 32nd.
The Sports Network