Gordon Stops DEI At Dega

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TALLADEGA, Ala. - Jeff Gordon ended DEI's streak of consecutive wins at Talladega Superspeedway but it didn't come without controversy.

Gordon was declared to be the leader by NASCAR when a caution flag flew with four laps to go Sunday giving him the win in the Aaron's 499. When rookie Brian Vickers spun in turn three, Gordon's Pepsi Chevrolet was ahead of Earnhardt's Budweiser Chevy as the field was frozen by NASCAR's timing and scoring. Since the race could not be restarted, Gordon picked up his 65th career NASCAR Nextel Cup Series win but not before being showered by a cascade of beer cans and garbage from unhappy fans in the stands.

"I don't know if those were Pepsi cans or Beer cans," Gordon joked in victory lane over loud boos from the crowd of 160,000. "I knew I got ahead of him going into Turn 3," Gordon said. "I am going to go with NASCAR on this one. I am not sure if everyone here agrees with that one, but I sure do."

Earnhardt, obviously, had a different view of the situation.

"I felt like I was ahead of him before the light came on," Earnhardt Jr. said. "If I beat the light I had to be pretty close on the flag. I thought I was miles ahead of him, I didn't even think it was close. But we don't make the decisions or the rules."

Gordon's first win of the season ended DEI's Talladega winning streak at five, four of those which belonged to Earnhardt. Gordon scored Chevrolet's eleventh straight victory at the 2.66-mile speedway.

Kevin Harvick finished third followed by Gordon's Hendrick Motorsports Jimmie Johnson and Robby Gordon, giving Chevrolet a sweep of the first five position.

Mark Martin, Jeff Burton, Casey Mears, Jamie McMurray and Bobby Labonte completed the Top 10.

Earnhardt, Jr. maintained his series point lead by 89 over Johnson, Gordon jumped up to third 106 points behind.

The Nextel Cup Series now travels to California Speedway for next Sunday's Auto Club 500.

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