Gordon's risk lands him in Victory Lane

Monday, June 11, 2007

LONG POND, Pa. -- 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, Gordon was begging for the skies to open and let that rain start coming and not stop until he was in Victory Lane.

"It's raining! It's raining! Throw the caution!" he said later, recalling the moment.

The caution came, the race was red flagged and Gordon showed again that nothing will slow him down.

Gordon used the rain and a smart call by crew chief Steve Letarte to win the rain-shortened race at Pocono Raceway on Sunday and give the points leader his fourth win this season.

"We're having a heck of a year," Gordon said.

Not quite like Sunday.

The race was red flagged after 106 laps of the scheduled 200-lap, 500-mile race. With darkness falling, the cars went back to pit road and never came back after a final attempt to dry the track.

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.

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