Jeff Gordon posted a hard-fought 10th place finish in the FedEx 400 at Dover International Speedway. Gorodn started 22nd and battled handling issues for the balance of the event. However, a well-timed caution flag late in the event allowed him to get back on the lead lap. Fresher tires gave Gordon the chance to solidify a top-10 effort. It was Gordon’s 5th top-10 in the last 6 races at Dover.
Gordon started 22nd and moved into the top-20 by the end of the first lap. On lap 15, he took 15th from Paul Menard with an outside move coming off turn 2. His forward progress slowed as he took 14th place from Ricky Stenhouse on lap 55. The first caution for debris waved on lap 72 as Gordon was less than 3 seconds from going a lap down. Pit stops ensued with Gordon restarting in 15th on lap 79. He made steady progress after the restart and took 13th from Greg Biffle on lap 90. However, Clint Bowyer took a spot from Gordon on lap 107. Five laps later he dropped to 16th as his lap times slowed. However, he regrouped to move back up to 14th place by lap 150. Gordon came to pit road for a green flag stop on lap 156. The second caution waved on lap 161 for Ricky Stenhouse’s wall contact. Gordon came to pit road for additional adjustments and restarted in 17th place. The next caution waved on lap 175 for a crash involving Trevor Bayne, Michael Annett, and Justin Allgaier. Gordon stayed on the track during the caution and moved up to 11th for the restart on lap 183.
At the halfway point, Gordon ran in 15th place as drivers with fresher tires went by. He battled handling issues and dropped to 18th by lap 230. He came to pit road for a green flag stop on lap 250, and cycled through in 17th place. The next caution waved for debris on lap 261. Pit stops followed and Gordon restarted in 17th. He took spots from Brian Scott and Aric Almirola to move back into the top-15 on lap 280. With 100 laps to go, he passed Danica Patrick to take 14th. He took 12th with 90 to go after Matt Kenseth came to pit road. Gordon took 11th from Joey Logano on lap 318 and closed in on the top-10. Gordon came to pit road for a green flag stop on lap 335 and cycled through in 17th place (1 lap down) due to some pushing the limits on fuel. After Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski came to pit road, Gordon advanced to 12th place with 40 to go and got back on the lead lap. However, he dropped a lap down when race leader Kevin Harvick passed with 27 to go. A caution with 25 to go for Kyle Busch and Brian Scott’s crash allowed Gordon to get back on the lead lap in 11th place.
Gordon moved up to 9th with 15 to go when Denny Hamlin crashed and collected Kurt Busch. Gordon came to pit road for tires and restarted in 9th. He took 8th from Aric Almirola with 7 to go, and took 7th from Clint Bowyer with 5 to go. A caution for Casey Mears’ spin with 2 laps to go set up a green/white/checkered finish. On the restart, Gordon dropped back on the inside line and came across the line in 10th place.
“It kind of seems to be our regular finishes and performances. We just aren’t good enough to be further up there. We have some work to do. We fought hard today that is for sure. I like the fight, but we have to get better than that.”
source: Jeff Gordon Online
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