Gordon started 23rd and moved to 16th by lap 10. He took 13th from AJ Allmendinger on lap 13 as his forward march continued. He entered the top-10 on lap 24 with a pass on Kevin Harvick, and then took 8th from Denny Hamlin on lap 35. Green flag pit stops came on lap 47 with Gordon cycling through in 9th place. He moved up to 8th before the next round of green flag stops on lap 90. The first caution waved on lap 112 for debris. Pit stops followed with Gordon restarting in 11th place. However, he slid back to 15th within a lap before regrouping. On lap 130, Gordon ran in 12th place before a debris caution slowed the field. Gordon stayed on the track and inherited the lead. He dropped to 4th within a lap of the restart, but held the position before coming to pit road on lap 167. A caution on lap 170 resulted in Gordon being a lap down. However, he stayed on the the track for the free pass to get back on the lead lap.
Gordon restarted 24th and worked back to 15th by the halfway point. With 100 to go, Gordon ran in 6th place. He slipped to 9th with 50 to go, but took 8th from Carl Edwards with 23 to go. He made a late pass on Harvick to take 7th and score his best finish since Texas — a span of 5 races. Gordon moved from 24th to 22nd in the series standings.
Gordon’s car seemed best during the dusk hours. As darkness enveloped the track, Gordon battled handling issues and was unable to make a serious charge toward the front.
[audio:http://www.scannerbytes.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/2012-05-27-Jeff-Gordon-Coca-Cola-600-Charlotte.mp3|titles=2012-05-27 – Jeff Gordon – Coca Cola 600 – Charlotte]
MP3 Download – with spotter chatter
[audio:http://www.scannerbytes.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/2012-05-27-Jeff-Gordon-Coca-Cola-600-Charlotte-with-spotter-chatter.mp3|titles=2012-05-27 – Jeff Gordon – Coca Cola 600 – Charlotte – with spotter chatter]