Rewind: A cut tire on lap 194 sent Jeff Gordon into the wall in turn two while he was running 10th. Gordon brought the damaged DuPont Chevrolet onto pit road and climbed out. Gordon started 13th and stayed out during the first caution period to lead a lap. He dropped to the lower half of the top-10 after the restart battling a tight handling car. A long green flag run dropped him to 10th before a cycle of green flag pit stops on lap 51. A caution for Kyle Busch’s cut tire brought the field to pit road on lap 97. Gordon exited pit road in 6th place and held the spot through two quick caution periods. In the mid-stages of the event, Gordon ran 8th-10th before a pit stop on lap 150 dropped him to 11th. The cut tire came without warning and put an early end to his day.
Road ahead: Through practice and the race, the #24 team battled handling issues. The car was far from dominant when compared to 2010. However, crew chief Alan Gustafson clearly made strides as the race progressed. A week off awaits before the series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway for the first short track race of the year. Gordon will drive the Pepsi Max car at Bristol — the first time he’s driven a Pepsi car at a track less than 1.5-miles long.
JG’s comments: “There was no sign (of the cut tire). We needed to free it up. Nothing we were doing seemed to be helping. The day started off pretty good, we were up toward the front. We started losing the handling on the last couple of runs. I’m glad I had a safer barrier to hit and a safe race car.”
In Car Audio
MP3 without Spotter Chatter
[audio:http://www.scannerbytes.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Jeff-Gordon-2011-03-06-Kobalt-Tools-400-Las-Vegas.mp3|titles=Jeff Gordon – 2011-03-06 – Kobalt Tools 400 – Las Vegas]
MP3 with Spotter Chatter
[audio:http://www.scannerbytes.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Jeff-Gordon-2011-03-06-Kobalt-Tools-400-Las-Vegas-with-spotter-chatter.mp3|titles=Jeff Gordon – 2011-03-06 – Kobalt Tools 400 – Las Vegas – with spotter chatter]