April News

Pacing The Field
April 30 - - Jeff Gordon participated in a three-day test session at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on April 27-29. On Wednesday, he was named as the pace car driver for the Indianapolis 500 on May 24. Growing up in Indiana, Gordon had envisioned someday racing in the prestigious 500-mile race. However, his career took a southern turn in 1991 and he hasn't looked back. Along the way, Gordon has scored 5 victories at the Brickyard in a stock car, but the pace car will (likely) be the closest he comes to participating in the Indianapolis 500. "I came here as a kid and watched the Indy 500," Gordon said. "I can't think of anything more exciting than being the pace car driver. It's going to be a unique experience. I've never done anything like this before. It's a huge race and I don't want to do anything to mess it up." Logistically, Gordon will fly to Indianapolis with his family following Saturday practice at Charlotte. After driving the pace car on the parade laps, he'll watch a few laps of the race before heading to the airport for the flight to Charlotte to prepare for NASCAR's annual 600-mile event that night.

Consistent Stretch
TOYOTA 400 - Richmond International Raceway. Finish: 8th

Jeff Gordon posted his 6th consecutive top-10 finish with an 8th place effort at Richmond. It's the first time since March 2009 that Gordon posted 6 straight top-10's. However, Gordon battled the handling on longer runs and was unable to seriously contend for the lead during the event. Kurt Busch scored his first win of the season and the 26th of his career to punch his ticket into the NASCAR Chase. Gordon tied Mark Martin with the most lead lap finishes (558) in NASCAR history.

After rain washed out the event on Saturday night, the drivers took the green flag shortly after 1pm/eastern on Sunday. Gordon started 11th and moved to 9th in the opening laps. He took 8th from Denny Hamlin on lap 13, and passed AJ Allmendinger for 7th on lap 25. He held the spot until the competition caution on lap 50. Pit stops followed with Gordon restarting in 7th place. He used the inside line to his advantage and took 6th from Matt Kenseth on lap 57. Gordon entered the top-5 with a move around Brad Keselowski on lap 60. Kenseth regouped to take a spot from Gordon lap 64. At the 100-lap mark, Clint Bowyer passed Gordon to send him back to 7th. He moved back into 6th with a pass on Joey Logano on lap 121. The next caution came on lap 128 following Joey Gase's wreck on the backstretch. Gordon exited pit road in 7th. He slipped to 8th after the restart, but a caution for Josh Wise's stalled car on lap 137 bunched the field for another restart. Gordon held 8th until the next caution on lap 163 for Wise's blown engine. Pit stops followed with Gordon gaining two spots to restart in 6th place. Kasey Kahne jumped to the outside line to take a spot from Gordon on lap 170.

Just prior to the halfway point, Jamie McMurray passed Gordon to send him to 8th. He fell to 10th on lap 221 when Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth went by. Gordon dropped to 11th after Dale Earnhardt Jr passed on lap 245. Chase Elliott passed Gordon on lap 253 to send him back to 12th. Gordon came to pit road for a green flag stop on lap 266 and cycled through in 16th place. A caution for Brett Moffitt's blown tire slowed the field on lap 268, which trapped Gordon a lap down. However, Gordon took the wave-around to get back on the lead lap. He restarted in 15th place on lap 278. Gordon quickly gained two spots, and took 12th from Earnhardt Jr on lap 290. He re-entered the top-10 after passing Ryan Newman and Kasey Kahne. With 86 laps to go, he took 9th from Joey Logano. Ten laps later he took 8th from Martin Truex. A debris caution with 50 laps to go brought pit stops for the run to the finish.

Gordon gained two spots in the pits and exited pit road in 6th place. On the restart with 42 to go, Gordon moved around Brad Keselowski before Tony Stewart spun to bring out a caution with 40 to go. On the restart, Joey Logano dove under Gordon to take a spot before a caution for Jeb Burton's spin with 32 to go. With 18 to go, Kahne went by to send Gordon back to 7th place. Kenseth took a spot from Gordon with 13 to go. He crossed the finish line in 8th place.

JG's comments:
"It was a good day. We started off the race pretty decent. I felt like we just needed a couple of adjustments. We made some adjustments and the car just flip flopped on us. We just had a lot of inconsistency trying to figure out the tires. You make an adjustment and the tires go a different way. That second to last run we were really awesome. Got the car back kind of to where we started the race and we were flying up through there and got in the top 10. Had great pit stops on pit road all day, got ourselves into the fifth position there and then that restart was kind of crazy. Kurt Busch didnít really go and Joey Logano got a good run and got inside of me and put us on the outside. I donít know, we werenít as good on that last run, but still a really solid eighth place finish.Ē

Long Day, Longer Night
FOOD CITY 500 - Bristol Motor Speedway. Finish: 3rd

Jeff Gordon posted his best finish of the 2015 season with a 3rd place effort in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. The event concluded more than 9 hours after its scheduled start time because of persistent rain in East Tennesee. Gordon finished behind race winner Matt Kenseth and runner-up Jimmie Johnson after battling back from 2 laps down. It was his 5th consecutive top-10 finish -- the first time Gordon has scored 5 straight top-10's since June 2010.

Steady rain delayed the start of the race by more than an hour. Jeff's children, Ella and Leo, gave the command for drivers to start engines just before 2:30 pm. Gordon started 23rd and moved to 19th within 10 laps. The first caution waved on lap 18 for a wreck involving Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano. The crash moved Gordon up to 17th place and -- more importantly -- gave him an entry out of his pit box with Logano going several laps down. Rain picked up once again and the event was red flagged at 2:40 pm. After nearly four more hours of rain and subsequent track drying, the race resumed just before 7 pm.

Gordon restarted in 16th place on lap 35. He used the high line to his advantage and moved to 12th by lap 40. Gordon remained there as the competition caution slowed the field on lap 60. Pit stops followed with Gordon restarting in 14th after some drivers opted to stay out. Gordon advanced to 11th by lap 70, and entered the top-10 with a move around Sam Hornish on lap 77. At the 100-lap mark, Gordon ran 7th after passing his Hendrick Motorsports teammates Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr. He took 6th from Greg Biffle on lap 133. The next caution came on lap 168 for dampness on the track. Pit stops ensued with Gordon restarting in 7th place.

Gordon dropped to 8th on lap 200 and radioed to his crew about a loose wheel. He came to pit road for a 4-tire change on lap 206. He rejoined the race in 29th place, 2 laps down. Gordon moved up to 25th place by lap 225, but remained 2 laps down. At the halfway point, Gordon ran in 23rd place, and was the first car 2 laps down. On fresher tires, Gordon passed race leader Kevin Harvick on lap 254 to get a lap back. However, Carl Edwards went by Gordon to put him 2 laps down just prior to a caution flag for passing rain on lap 262. Gordon took the wave around and moved to 19th place, 1 lap down. The rain picked up and the red flag was displayed just after 8 pm. The field went back under the yellow flag 20 minutes later. A caution for Kurt Busch's spin into Jimmie Johnson on lap 278 brought out the caution. Following a pit sto, Gordon moved up to 18th -- the first car one lap down.

Gordon got back on the lead lap when the caution waved on lap 311 when Johnson spun out Jeb Burton. In the melee, Kevin Harvick made contact with David Ragan, which eliminated both drivers from contention. Gordon restarted in 16th place on lap 325. The next caution waved on lap 344 for debris. Gordon came to pit road for tires and restarted in 16th place on lap 350. The next caution came on lap 367 when Landon Cassill drilled the wall head-on after contact from Kyle Larson. Gordon stayed on the track and restarted 12th after several cars pitted. On lap 382, Gordon used the high line to move up to 9th place. Two laps later, he advanced to 7th place and closed in on Carl Edwards for 6th. He moved to 6th place on lap 437 when Kyle Larson pitted from the race lead. One lap later, he moved around Edwards to take 5th place. Gordon took 4th from Jamie McMurray on lap 446, and two laps later passed Ryan Newman for 3rd. Edwards regrouped and took a spot from Gordon on lap 455. With 29 to go, McMurray cut a tire and a chain reaction wreck occurred in turn 4 as Josh Wise and Clint Bowyer piled in.

Gordon stayed out and moved up to 3rd place when Kurt Busch pitted from the lead. On the restart with 20 laps to go, Austin Dillon used the high line to take a spot from Gordon. A multi-car wreck with 17 to go brought the caution after Tony Stewart turned Kasey Kahne. Gordon lined up on the outside line for the restart with 9 laps to go. Gordon moved to 2nd place behind Matt Kenseth. Edwards lost control underneath Gordon and hit the wall. Kurt Busch drilled the back of Edwards, and the melee collected Paul Menard and Justin Allagaier. On the green/white/checkered restart, Gordon lined up on the inside of Kenseth. Johnson was able to get past Gordon on the restart. Gordon crossed the line in 3rd place, his best effort of the 2015 season.

JG's comments
"That was tough. On such old tires you have to carry momentum to the line and not spin the tires. Then you have guys on fresher tires behind you. I thought I got a good restart, as good as I could ask for to be on the bottom lane. I'm pretty happy to come home 3rd. Yeah, at one time it looked like we could maybe get 2nd. That was just chaos. For us, it was chaos the entire race. We had a really good car. We had a loose wheel and had to come from behind. I didn't think we had the best car on that last long run. I thought Carl was pretty good, Kurt was really strong. We were building a top-5 out of it. I certainly didn't like NASCAR running us around under caution for so long (in the rain). I thought we were going to run out of gas. I hate it for the 3 team. Happy for Matt. I think he deserved it. They had a good car and it would have been a shame if he had run out of gas. So, great job to him."

Heavy Mettle
DUCK COMMANDER 500 - Texas Motor Speedway. Finish: 7th

Jeff Gordon's 7th place finish at Texas Motor Speedway was one of his most challenging top-10 efforts. He struggled with handling for the balance of the event and ran 12th-15th for most of the race. However, a late caution and a two-tire change propelled him into the top-10.

Gordon started 12th and moved into the top-10 within 5 laps. However, he battled handling issues as the run progressed and was unable to make headway from 9th place. The first caution came on lap 31 for a spin by Alex Kennedy. Gordon came to pit road for adjustments and restarted in 7th place. He jumped to 5th within a lap of the restart and closed in on Kevin Harvick for 4th place on lap 45. Gordon advanced to 4th on lap 67 when Brad Keselowski pitted early for a loose lug nut. Gordon led the race for a couple of laps during a green flag pit stop sequence on lap 80. He cycled through the round of stops in 5th place. Kasey Kahne passed Gordon for a spot on lap 96. A debris caution on lap 109 brought the leaders to pit road. Gordon exited in 6th place after a four-tire change. However, Gordon faded after the restart and ran in 12th place on lap 116. He slipped to 13th on lap 120 as Matt Kenseth went by. Gordon ran in 13th for the balance of the run before a round of green flag pit stops on lap 159. Gordon cycled through in 14th place as the race neared the halfway point.

A debris caution on lap 171 brought the leaders to pit road. Gordon came to the pits for adjustments and restarted in 15th place. He advanced to 13th by lap 185 and ran 12th prior to the green flag pit stop sequence. Gordon came to the pits on lap 220 and cycled through in 13th place. The next caution came on lap 227 for Matt Kenseth's spin coming off turn 4. Pit stops ensued with Gordon restarting in 15th place. He advanced to 13th by lap 250 with moves around Kyle Larson and Ryan Newman. A caution for Michael Annett's wall contact on lap 251 brought pit stops. Gordon once again lined up in 15th for the restart. He gained two spots prior to a caution for Justin Allagaier's wall contact on lap 260. Gordon came to pit road and restarted in 16th. With 50 laps to go, Gordon ran in 13th place. He took 12th from Kenseth prior to a debris caution with 40 to go. Pit stops followed with Gordon restarting in 14th place with 37 to go. He gained a spot after the restart and ran 13th with 30 to go. A debris caution slowed the field with 26 to go. Crew chief Alan Gustafson called for a 2-tire change and Gordon exited in 2nd place.

On the restart with 21 to go, Gordon held onto 2nd place for a few laps. However, Kevin Harvick and drivers with four fresh tires were able to get past him. With 16 to go, Gordon dropped to 5th place. With 10 to go, he dropped to 6th as Joey Logano passed. He fell to 7th with 6 to go when Brad Keselowski went by. Gordon posted his fourth straight top-10 and moved up to 13th in the points standings.

JG's comments
"Texas is tough when everything is working right for you. But our car all weekend we just struggled trying to get the balance. Obviously our teammates have it worked out. They were all fast. We have some work to do. I have to figure this package out. We struggled, we fought through it, we didn't give up, and Alan made a great call there at the end to take 2 tires. That's what got us to 7th."

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