July 26 – – In the days preceding the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Jeff Gordon proclaimed that his team had “something up our sleeves for Indy.” As it turned out, there were no magic tricks or anything up their sleeves.
Gordon started 8th and it took just a half lap for the first caution to wave. Sam Hornish spun on the backstretch and the chain reaction collected Reed Sorensen, Kyle Busch, Elliott Sadler and David Reutimann. On the restart on lap 8, Gordon dropped two spots and ran in 10th. He moved to 9th on lap 10 when Ryan Newman pitted for a cut tire. The second caution waved on lap 14 for Max Papis’ engine problem and Robby Gordon’s cut tire. The leaders came to pit road with Gordon exiting in 7th place. He struggled on the restart and fell to 9th by lap 25. He slipped out of the top-10 on lap 35 when Jeff Burton went by. Gordon came to pit road on lap 49 for a green flag pit stop. Following the stops Gordon ran in 13th place. A debris caution on lap 66 brought the lead lap cars to pit road with Gordon exiting in 12th spot.
Gordon ran in 11th behind Jeff Burton for several laps before a green flag pit stop on lap 98. With 50 laps to go, Gordon ran distantly behind the leaders in 14th place. A debris caution with 44 laps to go resulted in pit stops with Gordon departing in 12th. With 35 to go, Gordon began dropping positions as a right rear tire cut down. He made an unscheduled pit stop and went a lap down. A debris caution with 23 to go resulted in Gordon staying out for the wave around onto the lead lap. He ran in 27th place before a caution with 16 to go when Juan Pablo Montoya, after dominating the day, hit the wall coming off turn four. Montoya collected Dale Earnhardt Jr in the melee. Gordon came to pit road to fix a broken splitter brace. Gordon restarted 24th with 11 laps to go – and finished in 23rd position. It was his worst finish at the Brickyard since he finished 33rd in 2000. He remained second in the series points standings.