For the second time in the last 3 weeks, Jeff Gordon posted a sub-40th place finish. Gordon lost 4 laps at Watkins Glen after a brake fluid line issue on lap 25. Gordon dropped to 14th in the NASCAR Chase standings with 4 races remaining before NASCAR’s playoff begins. The 41st place finish was his worst career finish on a road course. In addition, it’s the first time since 2008 that Gordon posted 2 sub-40th place finishes in the same season.
Gordon started 5th at the Cheez-It 355 at the Glen and dropped to 9th by the end of lap 4. He took 8th from Tony Stewart on lap 12, while complaining of handling issues. Gordon came to pit road for a green flag stop on lap 24. Greg Biffle’s cut tire brought out the caution on lap 26. Gordon returned to pit road to diagnose a brake problem on the #24 car. The crew worked on multiple stops to fix an issue with leaking brake fluid. Gordon sat on pit road and lost multiple laps as the line was fixed. A debris caution on lap 31 slowed the field, while Gordon went 4 laps down on pit road. A crash after a restart on lap 49 eliminated Kasey Kahne, which allowed Gordon to gain a spot on the track. He ran in 42nd place on lap 54. Tony Stewart’s broken gear provided Gordon was another spot to gain and he moved to 41st on lap 60 where he finished the event.
“It’s disappointing. We can’t afford to have these finishes if we’re going to make the Chase. Just when you think you get something that goes your way, and something like this happens. We keep fighting and digging and trying to get the finishes we need to get solidly in there. We need to improve performance-wise, but I think our performance is not bad. Right now it’s the unknown. The concerns of freak things happening like what happened at Indy (and) what happened here. Those are things out of your control. We’re all about the things you can control. From that standpoint, we’re trying to improve the performance of the car slightly. We’re not far off, though.”
source: Jeff Gordon Online
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Jeff Gordon Watkins Glen