Gordon holds on at Atlanta for 85th career win

September 6, 2011 - 2:50 PM
NASCAR Atlanta Auto Racing

Drivers Jeff Gordon (24). Jimmie Johnson (48) and Carl Edwards (99) race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup AdvoCare 500 auto race, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011, at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, in Hampton, Ga. (AP Photo/Mark Young)

HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) — Jeff Gordon has won the rain-delayed NASCAR race at Atlanta Motor Speedway for his third victory of the season and 85th of his career.

Gordon held off Jimmie Johnson by about a half-second to win the AdvoCare 500, only the second Cup race since 1978 to be run on a Tuesday. It was originally scheduled for Sunday night, but rain from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee forced a two-day postponement.

The four-time champion had already locked up a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, but this performance stamped him as a prime contender to end Johnson's unprecedented streak of five straight titles.

Then again, Johnson looks pretty strong, too. He thrillingly ran right on Gordon's bumper for the last 10 laps and now leads the season standings.