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Gordon collects his 84th Cup victory

Associated Press / June 13, 2011

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Jeff Gordon moved into a tie for third on NASCAR’s Sprint Cup career victories list, winning for the 84th time when he took the checkered flag yesterday at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa.

Gordon led most of the final 40 laps and won for the second time this season. His 84 wins tie him with Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip for third in NASCAR history. Richard Petty leads with 200 wins and David Pearson is second with 105.

Gordon won in February at Phoenix International Raceway and has multiple victories in a season for the first time since 2007. Gordon tied Bill Elliott with five wins on the 2 1/2-mile triangle track.

Gordon’s victory at Phoenix ended his drought at 66 races without a win. This 11-race winless stretch was just a blip compared with that.

“When you see what he’s done in his career, not just this decade, not just in the 2000s, but all the way back to the ’90s, he’s a true legend in this sport,’’ Kurt Busch said.

Busch, the pole-sitter, was second and Kyle Busch third.

Kyle’s Busch fun was short-lived. NASCAR announced his No. 18 Toyota failed postrace inspection with a height issue on the left front end. His car will be taken to NASCAR’s research and development center.

Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top five. Dale Earnhardt Jr. continued his rebirth with a sixth-place finish. It capped a great day for Hendrick Motorsports — first, fourth, and sixth.

Gordon, the four-time Cup champion, first won at Pocono in 1996. He won again in 1997 and 1998, then waited until 2007 to reach Victory Lane again.

The win was special for Gordon, who turns 40 in August. His first order of business once he got out of the car was a kiss from his daughter, Ella.

Team owner Rick Hendrick’s offseason decision to shake up his organization has proved an early success. Gordon and crew chief Alan Gustafson have the No. 24 Chevrolet in fantastic shape for a spot in the Chase for the championship.

“I feel a lot better about it, that’s for darn sure,’’ Gordon said.

Formula One — Jenson Button took advantage of a last-lap slide by Sebastian Vettel and passed the runaway points leader on the final trip down the backstretch to win the rain-soaked Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.

Jenson had fallen to 21st in the field after being penalized for a speed limit violation, but he worked his way through the field and sat less than one second behind Vettel entering the final lap. The rear of Vettel’s car slipped out from under him on the second half of a chicane, and Button sped past him to take the checkered flag for McLaren.

It was the first victory this season and the 10th of his career for Button, who finished second in Montreal last year. Vettel had won five of the first six Formula One races this season.

24 Hours of LeMans — Audi overcame two spectacular crashes and held off a charging Peugeot to win the title, giving the German carmaker its 10th title at the renowned endurance race in France.

Andre Lotterer, Marcel Fassler, and Benoit Treluyer drove the Audi No. 2 to victory, completing 355 laps in 24 hours.