Jeff Gordon chased down Kyle Busch, passed him for the lead with eight laps left and won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, snapping Gordon's 66-race winless drought.
With this first trip to Victory Lane since April 2009, Gordon, the four-time Cup champion who turns 40 in August, also tied Cale Yarborough for fifth on the all-time Cup career wins list with 83.
Gordon's No. 24 Chevrolet, prepared by the Hendrick Motorsports team, was strong throughout the Subway Fresh Fit 500. But Busch -- who was hoping for a sweep this weekend after winning the NASCAR trucks and Nationwide series races -- gained the lead after a late caution period.
Gordon was four seconds behind but steadily closed the gap with Busch, who said after the race that "I knew [Gordon] was going to get to me eventually. He was on a mission today."
Jimmie Johnson, the reigning Cup champion and Gordon's teammate, finished third and Kevin Harvick was fourth.
They were among the survivors after several accidents earlier in the race, including one that collected 13 driversand another that knocked out Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne.
Another accident was triggered when Busch abruptly veered into pole-sitter Carl Edwards, which sent Edwards' Ford to the garage for lengthy repairs. Edwards finished 28th.
--Jim Peltz, reporting from Avondale, Ariz.
Photo: Jeff Gordon celebrates his NASCAR Sprint Cup victory Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway. Credit: Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press