Jeff Gordon finished a hard-fought 9th in the 5-Hour Energy 301 in Loudon. Gordon started 23rd, but ran the balance of the event in the top-10. The 9th place finish was his best at Loudon since 2012.
Gordon started 23rd and moved into the top-20 by lap 10. The first caution waved on lap 22 for debris, with Gordon running in 16th place. Pit stops followed with Gordon opting for 2 tires and restarting in 15th place. He passed Denny Hamlin to take 13th on lap 40. One lap later he took 12th from Jimmie Johnson. He tracked down Kasey Kahne to take 11th on lap 51, and entered the top-10 on lap 53 with a move around Jamie McMurray. Gordon remained on the track to lead a lap during a green flag pit stop sequence before coming to pit road on lap 91. A caution for debris on lap 95 slowed the field. Gordon restarted in 12th place on lap 106. He re-entered the top-10 with a move around AJ Allmendinger on lap 110. The next caution waved on lap 116 for debris. Gordon stayed out and restarted in 9th place. At the halfway point, Gordon ran in 9th place. On lap 160, he took 8th from Joey Logano.
Gordon came to pit road for a green flag stop on lap 176. A debris caution slowed the field on lap 187. Gordon came to pit road for 2 tires and restarted in 14th place. He quickly moved up to 11th place prior to a caution for Paul Menard’s spin on lap 199. Gordon stayed out and restarted in 10th with 97 to go. He briefly took 9th before Austin Dillon passed to send him back to 10th with 86 to go. Ryan Newman passed to take a spot with 50 to go. Gordon ran 12th when the caution waved with 49 to go. Pit stops followed with Gordon restarting in 11th place. He entered the top-10 with 43 to go and moved to 9th with a 3-wide move entering turn 1. However, his forward progress stalled and he finished the event in 9th place.
At the front of the field, Kyle Busch claimed his 3rd win in the last 4 races as he makes a summer charge to make the Chase after missing nearly half of the season.
“Honestly, that’s the kind of effort that this team has been putting in a lot lately. We haven’t been coming to the track in the position that we really feel like we could be, like we were last year. We’ve got some catch-up to do there; but my gosh, one thing we’re not lacking is determination and just the ability to overcome adversity. I’m really proud of that. The car was actually pretty good. When they dropped the green, we were good for about the first half of the race. But the second half of the race, we just couldn’t keep up with the track conditions. I’m not sure exactly what went on, but we were just kind of holding on there at the end. But it was still a nice top 10.”
source: Jeff Gordon Online
Run Time: 25 minutes
File Size: 3mb
MP3 Download – with spotter chatter
Run Time: 42 minutes
File Size: 5mb