Jeff Gordon finished 11th in the Kobalt Tools 500 on a day when he struggled with handling and traffic issues for the balance of the day. Gordon ran betwen 14th-16th for most of the day and salvaged 11th due to fuel mileage. Denny Hamlin dominated the race but needed a late race for fuel, thus handing the victory to Carl Edwards. Hamlin will take a 15 point lead over Jimmie Johnson to Homestead in the hopes of capturing his first NASCAR championship.
Gordon started 22nd and fell back on the outside line. He ran 26th when the first caution waved on lap 2 for Brendan Gaughan’s contact with the wall. He entered the top-20 with a pass on Dale Earnhardt Jr on lap 30. His lap times improved later in the run as he moved to 18th by lap 45. A caution for Brad Keselowski’s wall contact on lap 60 brought the field to pit road for the frist time. Gordon’s “new” pit crew made their first stop ever for the driver after coming over from the 48 team earlier in the week. Gordon gained a spot on pit road and restarted 16th on lap 65. Gordon gained positions in the first 10 laps of the green flag and ran 12th on lap 75. He took 11th from Matt Kenseth on lap 95 before a debris caution caused by Jamie McMurray throwing a water bottle on the track on lap 101. Gordon lost 5 spots on pit road and restarted 16th.
He made his way to 13th before tight handling caused him to fall back. He dropped to 16th on lap 126 when Mark Martin passed. Gordon came to pit road for a green flag stop on lap 171. A slow stop was hindered by the right front, and Gordon ran 16th after stops cycled through the field. He moved up two spots to 14th by lap 200 as the handling seemed to improve on the longer run. Robby Gordon’s spin with 90 laps to go brought out the caution and a round of pit stops. Gordon restarted in 14th place on lap 230, but lost two spots within a lap of the restart. Travis Kvapil’s spin on lap 233 brought out the fifth caution of the race. Gordon came to pit road for tires and restarted in the 15th position. He fell to 17th after Kevin Harvick shoved him up the track in turn 4. He ran 15th for the balance of the last 60 laps before late race pit stops for fuel began. Gordon had enough fuel to make it to the end and posted an 11th place finish — the high water mark of his day in the desert.
In Car Audio
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