Jeff Gordon cut a tire on lap 73 at Texas Motor Speedway and made heavy contact with the wall. Gordon pulled into the garage for lengthy repairs, which essentially put a dagger in his championship hopes. The 38th place finish dropped Gordon to a tie for 6th in the standings, trailing points leader Jimmie Johnson by 69.
Gordon started 8th and dropped to 11th by the end of lap 2. He re-entered the top-10 with a pass on Joey Logano just before a debris caution on lap 15. Gordon came to pit road for four tires and restarted in 8th place. However, he was caught in the middle of a 3-wide pack coming off turn 2 and dropped to 15th on lap 20. He dropped as low as 17th before taking a position from Denny Hamlin on lap 25. Gordon steadily worked through race traffic and advanced to 13th on lap 35. Ten laps later he moved up to 10th place by passing Ricky Stenhouse. The next caution waved on lap 56 after Kyle Busch got into the turn 3 wall. Gordon held 10th place through the round of pit stops.
However, Gordon’s hopes for the championship took a major hit (literally) on lap 73 when a flat tire resulted in heavy contact with the right side against the wall. Gordon pulled behind the wall for repairs and exited the car. After almost two hours, Gordon returned to the race in the final 80 laps. He picked up 4 spots and finished the event in 38th place.
A flat tire heading down the frontstretch on lap 73 resulted in wall contact, which essentially ended Gordon’s title hopes for 2013.
“I just know the left front went down as I was going down the front straightaway. I felt it before I got there and just couldn’t get it slowed down enough. The wind was so strong that the car was doing funky things down the straightaway. I don’t know if that was a slow leak or it just went all of a sudden. Our car just didn’t take off very good, but boy was it strong on the long runs. We just needed to get some better track position on the inside on the restarts and we actually had a really good race car. But it’s unfortunate. This is definitely going to hurt (in points). We’ll just get what we can out of this day and go on to Phoenix.”
Source: Jeff Gordon Online
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