Jeff Gordon used an unprecedented chairman's selection to get into the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship 48 hours before the opening race.
Now Gordon is trying his hardest to parlay that exemption from NASCAR chairman Brian France into a fifth title.
Jeff Gordon is feeling rejuvenated as the NASCAR Sprint Cup season winds down.
Gordon carried over a strong performance in Kansas last weekend to Thursday night by winning the pole for the race Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
NASCAR added Jeff Gordon to the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship field Friday, a stunning and unprecedented step in the fallout from at least two attempts to manipulate the results of the regular season-ending race at Richmond last weekend.
Ryan Newman replaced Martin Truex Jr. in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship on Monday night when NASCAR penalized Michael Waltrip Racing for manipulating the outcome of last weekend's race at Richmond.
Jeff Gordon had the inside line, a lead and his first win of the season in sight, usually a sure thing for Pocono's top winner.
Kasey Kahne was about out of time to pass his Hendrick Motorsports teammate.
Cruising from the outside, Kahne got the jump he needed, zipped past Gordon and pulled away with two laps left Sunday to win at Pocono Raceway.
Bobby Labonte's consecutive start streak will come to an end at 704 races. Labonte is not entered to race Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway, which will bring an end to the second-longest active starts streak in NASCAR.
The post-race party was a blur after Martin Truex Jr.'s first win in 2007. The celebratory cool-down lap, the burnouts, the drive to Victory Lane all happened so fast. So he planned to savor every minute of his next win. He just didn't think it would take six years.