Jeff Gordon’s night took a turn for the worse when he spun off turn four in the Coke Zero 400 with 3 laps to go. However, he avoided late race carnage and finished a respectable 6th in the event. Gordon went from 17th to 6th in the final two laps of the event. He started 4th and immediately hooked up in a tight draft with polesitter Mark Martin. The pair ran 1-2 for the first 5 laps before Trevor Bayne spun to bring out the caution flag. They dropped back to 7th and 8th on lap 17, but rallied back to 5th/6th when Carl Edwards spun on lap 25 for the second caution of the night. Following stops, Gordon dropped as low as 34th while drafting with Martin. They ran in 29th/30th on lap 48 when the caution waved for Dave Blaney’s wall contact. Following pit stops, Gordon worked his way to 20th on lap 55. At the 300-mile mark, Gordon and Martin ran 23rd/24th. Gordon and Martin came to pit road for the final round of pit stops under the green flag with 25 laps to go. With 16 laps to go, the pair ran 17th/18th on the track. With 10 laps to go, they were distantly behind the leaders running in the lower half of the top-20. As the laps wound down, Gordon moved up to 11th with Martin in tow. Gordon pulled up to 7th with 4 laps to go as the pair closed in on the lead draft. However, Gordon spun out in traffic in turn four with 3 laps to go to bring out the caution. The Pepsi Max Chevrolet sustained cosmetic damage to the right rear of the car. On the initial green-white-checkered restart, Mark Martin and Joey Logano triggered an 8-car melee on the backstretch. Gordon avoided the wreckage and moved up to 17th place for the second GWC restart. Gordon made plans to work with Jimmie Johnson who restarted 16th. However, Gordon jumped ahead and drafted with Kyle Busch through the white flag lap. Two separate wrecks on the final lap allowed Gordon to finish the event in 6th place. It was his fourth top-6 finish in the last five races.
Road ahead: The Sprint Cup series visits Kentucky Speedway for the inaugural race at the track. Gordon has tested at Kentucky over the years and will have a full day of practice on Thursday prior to Saturday night’s race.
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