Jeff Gordon posted an 10th place finish at Kentucky Speedway after struggling for the balance of the event. However, Gordon’s struggles paled in comparison to thousands of race fans who were turned away from Kentucky Speedway after waiting in traffic for more than 7 hours due to a lack of parking at the facility. The inaugural race was an epic failure for Speedway Motorsports and track owner Bruton Smith as fans with tickets in hand — some less than a mile from the track — were unable to see racing action under the lights. Regarding the on-track action, Gordon started 14th and dropped to 18th by lap 10 while complaining of a lack of grip. He held the spot until the competition caution on lap 30. Gordon’s crew changed four tires and he restarted in 25th place on lap 34. Following the green flag he continued to struggle with grip and ran in 26th on lap 50. He made steady progress and moved up to 21st on lap 70. Gordon pitted under green for tires on lap 81 and cycled through in 24th place. Race leader Kyle Busch put Gordon a lap down on lap 112. Ten laps later, Gordon came to pit road for a green flag stop complete with chassis adjustments. At the halfway point, he ran one lap down in 25th place. A caution for boring racing — I mean, debris — on lap 140 slowed the field. Gordon took the wave-around to get back on the lead lap. A caution on lap 153 for oil on the track allowed Gordon to pit for fresh tires. He moved up to 5th during a pit stop sequence and received a break when Jamie McMurray blew an engine, thus bringing out the caution flag. Gordon pitted and restarted 12th with 58 laps to go. He moved to 6th with 20 to go as he closed in on the top-5. Gordon pitted for two tires with 16 laps to go. A caution for Dale Earnhardt Jr’s cut tire with 14 to go brought out the caution flag. Gordon restarted 14th with 8 laps remaining. He moved to 11th before Clint Bowyer spun with 6 laps to go. The race restarted with 2 laps to go. Gordon crossed the line in 10th place ahead of Denny Hamlin. It was Gordon’s fifth top-10 finish in the last 6 races and moved him up to 7th in the series standings.
Road ahead: The series heads to New England for a mid-summer stop in Loudon, New Hampshire. Gordon’s flat track program has shown improvement as the season has progressed. The Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet should be strong off the truck in Friday’s practice sessions, with carry-over to the rest of the weekend.
[audio:http://www.scannerbytes.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Jeff-Gordon-2011-07-09-Quaker-State-400-Kentucky.mp3|titles=Jeff Gordon – 2011-07-09 – Quaker State 400 – Kentucky]
MP3 Download with spotter chatter
[audio:http://www.scannerbytes.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Jeff-Gordon-2011-07-09-Quaker-State-400-Kentucky-with-spotter-chatter.mp3|titles=Jeff Gordon – 2011-07-09 – Quaker State 400 – Kentucky – with spotter chatter]