With nothing on the line at Texas Motor Speedway, Jeff Gordon drove the Axalta Chevrolet to a 9th place finish. With his victory at Martinsville the previous week, Gordon is already locked into the championship race at Homestead as one of four drivers to compete for the title.
Gordon started 18th and ran 14th when the first caution waved on lap 11 for Joey Logano’s cut tire. Gordon stayed on the track and moved up to 8th. He dropped a few spots and ran 10th when the competition caution slowed the field on lap 25. Pit stops followed with Gordon restarting in 10th place. The next caution came on lap 35 for Kevin Harvick’s cut tire. Gordon pitted and restarted in 22nd place. He moved up to 15th by lap 50, and ran 13th when the caution waved on lap 52 for Tony Stewart’s spin. After pit stops, Gordo restarted in 10th. He slipped to 13th before gaining 4 spots on pit road during a caution period on lap 105. At the halfway point, Gordon ran in 8th place.
He ran 9th when the caution waved on lap 197 for Trevor Bayne’s cut tire. On the restart, he gained two spots to run 7th by lap 210. Gordon came to pit road for a green flag stop on lap 251. He cycled through in 8th place. Gordon advanced to 6th prior to a green flag stop with 38 laps to go. Following stops he ran in 8th place, prior to a caution with 23 laps to go. Pit stops followed with Gordon restarting in 9th with 18 to go. He briefly fell to 10th before rallying back to take 9th at the finish. It was the first time since 2007 that Gordon posted top-10 finishes in both Texas races in the same season.
“We did what we do as a team. We fight really hard. We dig down deep and we find a way to claw our way into a top-10. We have to get a little bit more than that. We didn’t have the short run speed. We figured some things out for the longer runs, but the short run speed was bothering us. I just couldn’t get going. This is a tricky track for that because of those bumps. I think we learned a lot this weekend. I’m just glad we’re still executing and performing as a team really strong. We just have to get the performance of the car a little bit better. Next week (in Phoenix) is about momentum. It’s about continuing to execute and get some momentum going into Homestead. We’re not going to learn a whole lot next week for Homestead. It’s a completely different tire and completely different track. But it’s still something we can get ourselves mentally prepared to go battle it out at Homestead.”
source: Jeff Gordon Online
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