On a day when Brad Keselowski took a major step toward his first NASCAR title because of Jimmie Johnson’s cut tire and wall contact, the major story was not race winner Kevin Harvick. Rather, it was a late race melee involving Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer. After several on-track incidents this year, Bowyer hit Gordon in the later stages of the race to take a position. Gordon got into the wall and waited for the #15 car to come around the track. Gordon then turned into Bowyer and sent both cars into the wall. A wild melee in the pits ensued with Bowyer’s crew attepting to get to Gordon after he exited the car. Gordon was credited with a 30th place finish.
Gordon started 11th and gained six spots by lap 7. The first caution waved on lap 17 for an incident involving Mike Bliss. Gordon stayed out and took 6th from Aric Almirola on lap 25. The next caution waved on lap 51 for David Gilliland’s wall contact. Pit stops ensued with Gordon restarting 12th on lap 59. He moved up to 8th by lap 90 and took 6th on lap 97. Gordon came to pit road for a green flag stop on lap 131 and cycled through in 6th place. He took 5th from Kasey Kahne on lap 151, but complained of handling issues. A debris caution on lap 167 brought the lead lap cars to pit road. Gordon fell to 12th for the restart on lap 174. Gordon backed off after his teammate Jimmie Johnson pulled up on the outside and dropped to 15th on lap 175. However, he regrouped and moved up to 12th on lap 185. Gordon re-entered the top-10 with a pass on Matt Kenseth on lap 198 and moved to 8th on lap 212.
The complexion of the championship changed when Jimmie Johnson drilled the wall after cutting a tire with 78 laps to go. And this time, unlike Kansas, the damage was too much to salvage a top-10 finish. Gordon pitted under caution and restarted in 8th place. He briefly fell to 10th before moving back to 8th with 55 to go. David Ragan’s cut tire brought out the caution flag with 39 laps to go. Gordon stayed on the track and restarted in 6th place with 35 to go. He moved to 5th before Tony Stewart’s spin brought a caution with 31 to go. Gordon dropped to 6th before a caution for Sam Hornish’s cut tire with 12 laps to go. On the restart, he moved to 5th before contact from Clint Bowyer put Gordon into the turn 3 wall. Gordon waited for Bowyer to come back around the track and drilled the #15 car into the wall. A wild melee ensued on pit road as Bowyer’s crew attempted to attack Gordon. Bowyer then sprinted from his wrecked car and tried to chase Gordon down in the #24 hauler. Gordon was escorted to the NASCAR hauler for a meeting about his actions
Gordon was running 5th at the halfway point, but handling issues hindered his progress in the second half of the event. Of course, the ultimate turning point came with 4 laps to go when contact from Bowyer put Gordon in the wall, thus bringing a dose of payback.
source: Jeff Gordon Online
Only the last 30 laps were captured today but at least we grabbed the most exciting part of the race!
File Size: 425kb
Run Time: 3:36
[audio:http://www.scannerbytes.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/2012-11-11-Jeff-Gordon-AdvoCare-500-Phoenix.mp3|titles=2012-11-11 – Jeff Gordon – AdvoCare 500 – Phoenix]
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