INDIANAPOLIS — Paul Menard won his first career Sprint Cup Series race by conserving fuel then holding off Jeff Gordon to pull off an upset victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway today.

Menard’s victory continued the trend of first-time winners this season in NASCAR’s crown jewel events. Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500, Regan Smith won at Darlington Raceway and David Ragan won earlier this month at Daytona.

Now Menard is winner of the Brickyard 400, making it to Victory Lane in his 167th series start. His only other NASCAR victory came in the Nationwide Series in 2006.

He saved enough gas over the closing laps to drive wide-open to the finish. He held off Gordon, who overcame a 12-second deficit over the final 12 laps to finish second.

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