After battling handling issues for the first half of the race, Jeff Gordon’s team used pit strategy and adjustments to take the race lead after the halfway point. However, a blown tire on lap 389 sent Gordon up the track and into the wall. He pulled the #24 car behind the wall with major damage.
Gordon started 11th and dropped to 12th prior to the first caution on lap 9 for Tony Stewart’s cut tire and subsequent spin. On the restart, Gordon moved into the top-10 and ran 9th on lap 20. He moved to 8th on lap 50, just before the day’s second caution for Jeff Burton’s wall contact. Pit stops followed with Gordon exiting in 5th place after opting for 2 tires. He lost spots on the restart, but moved back to 6th following Jamie McMurray’s spin on lap 70. He gained two spots and ran 4th after the restart. At the 100-lap mark, Gordon took 3rd from Kasey Kahne. However, Kahne re-took the spot 25 laps later. He moved back into 3rd with a pass on Kurt Busch on lap 147. He followed Kahne around Denny Hamlin on lap 149 to move into the runner-up spot prior to a caution on lap 152 for David Gilliland’s wall contact. Gordon changed four tires and restarted in 5th place on lap 158.
Gordon lost a spot to Jimmie Johnson and ran 6th on lap 180. Tight handling hindered the #24 car as Matt Kenseth took a spot from Gordon shortly after the 200-lap mark. Landon Cassill’s wall contact on lap 236 slowed the field and brought pit stops where the #24 crew removed a spring rubber to improve the car’s handling. Gordon restarted 9th on lap 242 and dropped out of the top-10 on lap 260, but re-entered the top-10 a few laps later with a pass on Dale Earnhardt Jr. He took 9th from Clint Bowyer on lap 278, and passed Greg Biffle for 8th on lap 281. However, Biffle got around Gordon to re-take 8th place after the 300-lap mark. A caution for Dave Blaney’s wall contact brought pit stops on lap 322. Gordon opted for 2 tires and exited pit road with the race lead. He held off Joey Logano before Denny Hamlin got into his former teammate and spun him coming off turn 2.
Gordon entered turn 3 on lap 389 on the low side just before his tire blew out. He went up the track and collected Matt Kenseth after drilling the wall. It was Gordon’s 1st DNF of the 2013 season.
A blown tire on lap 389 sent Gordon up the track into the wall.
“We heard left side (tires) were helping the cars turn. We saw some other guys do that, and it definitely did that. The car was really good out front on the restarts. We got clear air and were setting sail. The right fronts never blow out when you’re up against the wall. I dove down to the bottom to pass the 32 car. As soon as I got into the banking, I felt the right front go. I really hate that we collected Matt Kenseth in that. He had a great car. He was coming – it was just a matter of time before he got us. But, a great, great effort today up until then for this team. We needed points. This is definitely not going to get us many.”
Run time: 28:03
File size: 3.2 mb
[audio:http://www.scannerbytes.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Jeff-Gordon-2013-03-17-Food-City-500-Bristol.mp3|titles=2013-03-17 – Jeff Gordon – Food City 500 – Bristol]