FORT WORTH, Texas — Jeff Gordon broke a 17-race winless jinx at Texas Motor Speedway Sunday in the 334-lap Sprint Cup Samsung 500.
Ironically, it was Gordon’s pit crew that helped propel him to his first win since October 2007.
“You guys gave me a win, I love you guys,” said Gordon after taking the checkered flag ahead of his teammate Jimmie Johnson.
Gordon had lost the lead to Carl Edwards with 38 laps remaining. Two laps later, a caution came out after David Stremme spun in turn three. All the lead lap cars pitted.
Johnson’s team gave him a super quick stop that put him back in the lead, while Edwards was mired back in 11th.
It shaped up to be a 26-lap Texas Stampede, with Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle and Mark Martin right behind Gordon.
But the action never happened. Johnson and Biffle were able to get by Stewart, but neither had anything for Gordon and his No. 24.
Gordon pulled away from the other four front-runners, sometimes by as much as 1.85 seconds on his way to his first ever victory at Texas.
“This is a place that has eluded us for so long,” said Gordon. “This was an incredible team effort. This whole year has been amazing. We’ve never had a car like this at Texas. We finally had one, and we put it in a position to win.”
Could Jeff Gordon be poised for another championship?
Johnson’s runner-up finish was his fourth straight top-10.
“We never give up,” said Johnson. “We worked hard on this race car. It was off, but we made it really good. It just goes to show you how important track position is.”
Biffle’s third-place finish moved him from 23rd in points to 15th.
“This is probably the second time we should have won a race,” said Biffle. “Today, I’m not sure what happened. We lost a little bit of time on pit road.”
Stewart finished fourth and moved up from seventh to fifth in the point standings.
“When the track was at it’s warmest we were running old tires and were really fast,” said Stewart. “We just couldn’t take off on the short runs.”
Polesitter, David Reutimann finished 11th, while Dale Earnhardt Jr. was 18th.
Top 10 finishers: 1. Jeff Gordon, 2. Jimmie Johnson, 3. Greg Biffle, 4. Tony Stewart, 5. Matt Kenseth, 6. Mark Martin, 7. Juan Montoya, 8. Kurt Busch, 9. Jeff Burton, 10. Carl Edwards.
Top 12 Chase contenders after 7 of 36: 1. J. Gordon-1,154, 2. Johnson-992, 3. Ku. Busch-974, 4. Bowyer-967, 5. Stewart-963, 6. Hamlin-938, 7. Ky. Busch-914, 8. Edwards-889, 9. Kenseth-864, 10. Kahne-851, 11. Reutimann-845, 12. Burton-835.
Top 10 Nationwide Series leaders after 5 of 35: 1. Edwards-799, 2. Ky. Busch-761, 3. Ragan-653, 4. Leffler-612, 5. Allgaeir-600, 6. Harvick-576, 7. Keselowski-568, 8. Gaughan-564, 9. Keller-540, 10. Lagasse-538.
Top 10 Camping World Truck Series leaders after 4 of 25: 1. Ky. Busch-682, 2. Bodine-644, 3. Hornaday-611, 4. Skinner-606, 5. Crafton-561, 6. Cook-528, 7. Benson-515, 8. McCumbee-505, 9. Peters-503, 10. Crawford-496.
Weekend Racing Schedule
It’s Easter weekend, a traditional off-week for the Sprint Cup teams. The Camping Series Trucks are also idle. The only major racing will be the Nationwide Series at the 1.333-mile Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday, April 11. It will be televised on ESPN, beginning at 3 p.m. (EDT).
Racing Trivia Question: How many Cup races did Kyle Busch win in 2008?
Last Week’s Question: Where is the Sprint All-Star race held each year?
Answer: Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte. This year it will be held May 16.