A rain-shortened Pennsylvania 400 run at Pocono Raceway saw Jeff Gordon in Victory Lane Sunday evening. Jubilant Gordon earned his 86th career win placing him third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup all-time wins category.

Rain plagued the track situated in the Pocono Mountains and resulted in a delayed start time. Gordon was accompanied by his wife and two children at the track and walked proudly holding hands with his daughter during driver introductions.

The win, Gordon’s first this season, positions him for one of the wildcard slots for the Chase that will begin after Richmond next month. This shot in the arm was a much needed inoculation to propel Gordon into staunch competition after a season wrought with complications and bad luck.

Gordon’s teammate at Hendrick Motor Sports Kasey Kahne brought home second. Martin Truex Jr. was third. Brad Keselowski posted a fourth place finish. Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart was fifth.

Ryan Newman, Stewart’s teammate at Stewart-Haas Racing, followed his boss for a sixth place spot. Carl Edwards was disappointed in the rain-shortened finished that saw him finish seventh as he was pumped about the car crew chief Chad Norris had prepared for him. “I have never wanted to race so bad in my life. I want to be racing right now!”

Clint Bowyer, Truex’ teammate at Michael Waltrip Racing, was eighth. Regan Smith finished a respectable ninth and Marcos Ambrose rounded out the top 10.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is still the NASCAR Sprint Cup points leader with a slim five point lead over second place Matt Kenseth. Earnhardt Jr. finished in 32nd and Kenseth, due to an accident with Denny Hamlin, finished 23rd. Greg Biffle remains in third after a 15th place finish on Sunday’s race. Jimmie Johnson continues to occupy fourth after his 14th place finish in the race. Truex Jr. is currently fifth in points, a boost of two spots from last week.

Stewart also jumped two places to land in sixth. Brad Keselowski followed suit by leaping two spots for seventh after earning a fourth at Pocono. Hamlin, who tangled with Kenseth, fell three positions to eighth. Kevin Harvick who finished 16th in the race, also tumbled three spots to ninth. Bowyer held firm in tenth.

Wild card standings find Kahne leading and Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman tied with Gordon narrowly edging Newman.

Next week the action returns for the last road course race of the season – Watkins Glen. Coverage begins on Sunday, August 12th at 12 noon EST on ESPN.

Be sure to return to this site for my race recap.

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Candice Smith is a writer, columnist, and blogger as well as creator of the widely popular Chief 187™ Chatter. Her works have been featured under the pen name Chief 187™ around the Internet including a syndicated post within the Indie Republic Network where she has conducted in-depth interviews with musicians, Mixed Martial Artists, and other personalities as well as waxes poetic on myriad topics. Candice Smith is currently writing her second season of her original column “Why I Love NASCAR” by Chief 187™ on Skirts and Scuffs. Additionally, another of her NASCAR columns can be found at MotorsportsUnplugged.com. She also contributes articles and NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Recaps weekly at WowShaneRadio.com. She began her Internet writing career at Rowdy.com where she honed her blogging skills and reawakened her love of NASCAR. Candice Smith can be heard on air four times a week co-hosting motorsports programs on Internet radio as well as her own racing show “Drafting the Circuits” on WhooBazoo.com. She can be reached via Twitter by following @Chief187s. To find out more please visit http://Chief187.com.