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NASCAR At Chicago: Jeff Gordon Slams Wall, Out Of Race At Lap 189

In the first stunning moment of the 2012 Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, Jeff Gordon has slammed the turn one wall and taken his No. 24 Chevrolet behind the wall at lap 189 of the Geico 400. Gordon told his team he believed his throttle stuck, leaving him helplessly on a path into the wall. The crash is a massive blow to Gordon's hopes of winning the 2012 Chase and claiming a fifth championship after his stirring drive to make the Chase last weekend.

Gordon's misfortune is Matt Kenseth's fortune. The Roush-Fenway driver lost the right-front shock in his Ford and was about to be lapped at the time of Gordon's accident. Now his team can replace the shock and hopefully salvage the day as Kenseth looks to leave Roush with a title.

Jimmie Johnson has dominated the race and is now the race leader. Brad Keselowski runs second ahead of Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch, and Joey Logano. Mark Martin, Ryan Newman, Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, and Carl Edwards complete the current top-five.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.