In a race marred by the death of a fan hit by lightning, Jeff Gordon earned his first Sprint Cup win of the season, taking advantage of an accident sparked by teammate Jimmie Johnson to win the Pennsylvania 400 on Sunday in Long Pond, Pa., where the race was called after 98 of 160 laps because of a downpour preceding the fatal storm.
After the race, Pocono Raceway officials said one person died and nine others were injured after a lightning strike in the parking lot behind the grandstand.
Gordon earned his 86th career victory to thrust himself into wild-card contention in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
The weather was just one factor in Gordon’s victory, which has catapulted him into one of the two wild-card spots in the Chase with five races remaining before the 12-driver field is set.
Another was a wreck on a restart on lap 91 started when then-race leader Jimmie Johnson got loose and slid into Matt Kenseth, triggering an accident that also collected Denny Hamlin.
By the time the caution flag came out, Gordon – who restarted sixth – had dived below the melee and into the lead. The race would not be restarted.
Enumclaw’s Kasey Kahne finished second.
IndyCar: Scott Dixon took the lead by passing Will Power in pit row on the 57th lap and then held on to capture his fourth IndyCar title in the last six years at Mid-Ohio. Power finished second at the road course in Lexington, Ohio.