Jeff Gordon posted a 10th place finish at Kansas Speedway and moved to 7th in the NASCAR points standings, with a 7 point gap over the Chase cutoff line with one race remaining in Round 2.
Gordon started 6th and struggled at the outset as he dropped to 11th by lap 7. He slipped to 12th by lap 20. The first caution waved on lap 29 for JJ Yeley’s crash. Pit stops followed with Gordon exiting in 15th place. Handling issues persisted as Gordon fell back to 19th by lap 55. On the next round of caution flag stops, chassis adjustments were made with Gordon restarting 25th on lap 70. He gained two spots over the next 20 laps to run 23rd on lap 90. Kyle Larson’s spin on lap 109 brought out the caution. Gordon had to make a second pit stop under the caution for loose lug nuts and restarted in 23rd place. At the halfway point, Gordon re-entered the top-20. The next caution came on lap 155 for Austin Dillon’s cut tire. Gordon gained 4 spots on pit road and restarted in 16th place.
He entered the top-15 on lap 165 prior to a caution for Clint Bowyer’s crash. Gordon came to pit road for additional adjustments and restarted in 12th place. He moved to 11th with 80 to go when Brad Keselowski hit the wall. Gordon slipped back to 12th when Ryan Blaney passed a few laps later. Gordon came to pit road for a green flag stop with 49 to go and cycled through in 12th place. The next caution waved on lap 244 for Justin Allgaier’s wall contact. With just 12 cars on the lead lap at the time, Gordon came to pit road. He restarted in 12th with 19 laps to go. The next caution came with 4 laps to go when Joey Logano spun Matt Kenseth while battling for the lead. Gordon came to pit road for tires and restarted in 10th place for the green/white/checkered, and that’s where he came across the line to complete the event.
“We just grind it out. I’m extremely proud of the team for never giving up, fighting so hard, having solid pit stops, and trying as hard as we could. We qualified really well and it had me optimistic, but, boy, we really struggled in [Saturday] practice. We were hoping today we would hit on something, but we just never did. We really struggled with the front grip. Every time we tried to get it to turn, we didn’t have much rear grip. It was a struggle. We held onto the lead lap — which I don’t know how — but we did. At the end we were able to take 2 tires and had a pretty good restart. I thought we had the 2 car at the line, but they said he beat us. Still, all in all, a never give up effort. Somehow we pulled off a top-10.”
ON THE POINTS
“Every point means something, it just doesn’t mean anything as far as our approach for Talladega next week. I’m confident in our race cars and our race team. I’m excited about our chances of actually winning there. I just don’t like the chances of being in a wreck, because they’re usually high. But we’re going to approach it where we’re going to be aggressive and race hard. We’ll see where the points end up.”
source: Jeff Gordon Online
Jeff Gordon Kansas In-Car Audio
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Jeff Gordon Kansas