Jeff Gordon posted a 5th place finish in the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway. It was Gordon’s third consecutive top-10 effort — the first time he’s posted three straight top-10’s since October/November 2011.
Gordon started 9th and dropped to 17th by lap 10. However, he began gaining ground later in the run and moved up to 14th on lap 17. The first caution waved on lap 40 for Scott Riggs’ slow car with Gordon up to the 11th position. Pit stops followed with Gordon exiting in 10th place. He dropped back to 12th within 5 laps of the restart before moving forward. He re-entered the top-10 by lap 65. Green flag pit stops came just before the 100-lap mark with Gordon cycling through in 11th place. He once again entered the top-10 on lap 116 with a pass on Greg Biffle. The second caution waved on lap 126 for debris. Gordon came to pit road for a four tire change and exited in 13th place. On the restart, Gordon moved through traffic and ran 7th at the halfway point.
A caution for Dave Blaney’s engine on lap 150 slowed the field and brought pit stops. Gordon changed two tires and departed in 6th place. He moved into the top-5 on lap 157 and took 4th from Kyle Busch on lap 162. Dale Earnhardt Jr took 4th from Gordon on lap 195. Green flag pit stops came on lap 202 with Gordon cycling through in 5th place. Ryan Newman’s wall contact on lap 210 brought out the caution flag. Gordon came to pit road for tires and restarted in 8th place. Gordon moved up to 6th on lap 224, but dropped a spot to Martin Truex on lap 225. Kasey Kahne passed on lap 230 to drop Gordon back to 8th. As the laps wound down, Gordon made up spots and finished 5th. It was his second best finish of 2012.
Gordon’s second best finish of the year was a solid night for the #24 team. Pit calls were mostly conservative except for a two-tire change on lap 150.
DID THE CAR GO AWAY NEAR THE END OF THAT LAST RUN?
At the very last run it did, but we still actually were able to hold onto the guys. I think two tires were better for us than four. When we took four, prior to that, we just needed to make a little bit bigger adjustment. The car got really loose getting in the corner and it was pretty tough to hang onto at that point. But the track cooled down and it seemed like everybody got a little bit loose, especially getting into the corner. But we fought our way through. It was a pretty flawless night and I was excited that we came home with a fifth place finish, battling up front like we did.”
ON THE NEXT THREE TRACKS, DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU CAN REEL OFF SOME WINS?
“Yeah, we’ve just got to keep going to the race track and putting the effort out that we’ve been putting out. This team has been awesome. The cars have definitely shown that; and lately we’ve been getting the results. So you can definitely put some momentum on that and we’ve got some great tracks that are coming. To get a top-five here at Kentucky, which is definitely one of my worst race tracks, I feel like; to come home with a top five tells you just how strong our cars are and our team is and what we’re capable of doing. So, Daytona is going to be its own beast, but from that point on I think we’ve got the opportunity to not only put top-five’s together, but also get some wins.”
[audio:http://www.scannerbytes.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/2012-06-30-Jeff-Gordon-Quaker-State-400-Kentucky.mp3|titles=2012-06-30 – Jeff Gordon – Quaker State 400 – Kentucky]
MP3 Download – with spotter chatter
[audio:http://www.scannerbytes.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/2012-06-30-Jeff-Gordon-Quaker-State-400-Kentucky-with-spotter-chatter.mp3|titles=2012-06-30 – Jeff Gordon – Quaker State 400 – Kentucky – with spotter chatter]