Jeff Gordon was officially eliminated from title contention after posting a 14th place finish at Phoenix Raceway. Gordon led 49 laps during the event and restarted in 5th in the closing stages. However, he struggled on the inside line and wound up 14th at the finish.
Gordon started 5th and moved to the runner-up spot within a lap after Joey Logano got into Jimmie Johnson, which forced the field to slow down. Gordon tracked down Denny Hamlin and took the lead on lap 19. The first caution waved on lap 50 for Hamlin’s spin in turn 2. Pit stops followed with Gordon maintaining the race lead after opting for two tires. However, on the restart, Kevin Harvick used the outside line to take the lead. Jimmie Johnson took a spot from Gordon on lap 60 to send him to 3rd. The next caution waved on lap 100 for boredom. Gordon came to pit road for four tires and exited in 6th place due to some drivers opting for two tires. He moved to 5th prior to a caution for Timmy Hill’s crash on lap 117. Gordon fell to 8th after the restart as he was hindered by the inside line. The next caution came on lap 131 for Dave Blaney’s spin. After the restart, Gordon passed Martin Truex and Kurt Busch to run 6th on lap 140.
The next caution came on lap 144 for a crash involving Cole Whitt and David Reutimann. Gordon re-assumed the race lead after staying out while the leaders pitted. The next caution came for JJ Yeley’s spin on lap 161. Gordon pitted for two tires and restarted in 19th place. He moved through race traffic and ran in 15th place on lap 178. Gordon slipped to 16th prior to a caution for Reutimann’s wreck on lap 189. Gordon stayed out and restarted in 6th place on lap 200. He moved around Brad Keselowski to take 5th with 100 laps to go. Gordon pitted under green with 67 to go. When the pit stop sequence cycled through, Gordon ran 5th with 35 laps to go. A debris caution slowed the field with 30 to go. Gordon struggled on the inside line and dropped to 13th place with 20 to go. He finished the event in 14th place and remains 6th in the series standings.
Gordon restarted in 5th with 26 laps to go, but struggled on the inside line and dropped outside the top-10.
Source: Jeff Gordon Online
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