July News

Consistent Summer Stretch
BRICKYARD 400 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Finish: 7th

Jeff Gordon's streak of summer consistency continued with a 7th place effort in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was Gordon's 4th top-10 finish in the last 5 races. Gordon is now 10th in the series standings -- the first time he's been in the top-10 since Phoenix (second race of the season).

Gordon started 9th and moved around Marcos Ambrose to take 8th in the opening 5 laps. He took 7th from Denny Hamlin on lap 13 and held the spot until a round of green flag pit stops on lap 28. After a 14-second stop, Gordon returned to the race in 9th place. He took 8th from Matt Kenseth at the 100-mile mark and moved into 7th with a pass on Kasey Kahne. He advanced to 6th with a pass on Kurt Busch on lap 50. Gordon took the race lead by staying out during a cycle of green flag stops. Following a caution flag stop on lap 60, Gordon restarted in 8th place. However, he was caught in the outside line on the restart and dropped to 12th on lap 65. The second caution waved at the halfway point when Jeff Burton stopped on the track after breaking a gear. Gordon elected to stay on the track and restarted in 3rd place.

On the restart Gordon dropped to 5th after Dale Earnhardt Jr and Jimmie Johnson went by. One lap later he fell to 7th after Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth passed. Ryan Newman sent Gordon back to 8th place on lap 90. He came in for a green flag stop on lap 95 and ran 20th following the stop. He advanced to 7th place because he was off the leaders' pit sequence. A caution on lap 114 brought Gordon to pit road for adjustments. He restarted in 16th place with 100 miles to go in the event. Gordon steadily gained ground and ran 13th on lap 122. Five laps later he moved into 11th place. Gordon cycled back to the lead during the final green flag pit stop sequence with 25 laps to go. He came to pit road for the final time with 21 laps to go and cycled through in 13th place. With 12 laps to go, he advanced to 8th place as pit stops continued. Two laps later, Gordon moved to 7th place.

Turning point
Gordon struggled with handling at times but was unable to get track position where he could contend for a top-5 finish.

JG's comments
"When the race started, I knew it was going to be a challenge. The grip level was pretty minimal. When you got in traffic it was pretty tough. It's so competitive out there. We moved up on the long runs, we just needed more of them. We didn't have a short run car. We tried some different strategy to get track position. We just didn't quite have it today. But it was a great effort from everybody on this team. Even though we didn't quite have what we needed to win, we still pulled a decent finish out of it."

Fighting Back
CAMPING WORLD RV 301 - New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Finish: 10th

Although he ran in the top-10 for the balance of the Camping World RV 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Jeff Gordon needed a late-race rally to post a hard-fought 10th place effort. Gordon fell to 19th after a pit stop with 80 to go, and then overcame a spin with 44 laps to go. He went from 25th to 10th in the final 40 laps. Gordon moved up to 11th in the series standings, 2 points outside the top-10 Chase cutoff.

Gordon started 5th on an overcast day in New England. The first caution waved on lap 5 for Joey Logano's spin and wall contact in turn 1. On the restart, Gordon dropped to 6th when Denny Hamlin went by. The second caution came on lap 14 for Marcos Ambrose and Casey Mears colliding on the frontstretch. Gordon moved around Dale Earnhardt Jr to take 4th on lap 22. However, while battling a tight handling issue, he fell to 5th on lap 55 when Matt Kenseth passed. Gordon came to pit road for a green flag stop on lap 77 and returned to the race in 6th place. Following a debris caution, Gordon gained 2 spots on the restart to run 4th on lap 85. He fell back to 5th prior to a caution for Denny Hamlin's cut tire on lap 123. On the ensuing round of pit stops, Gordon opted for 4 tires and restarted in 10th place. He moved around Carl Edwards and ran 8th on lap 133. Gordon dropped to 9th just before a debris caution at the halfway point of the race. Gordon changed two tires and restarted in 8th.

Gordon advanced to 6th by lap 180. He gained 3 spots during a round of caution flag pit stops with 100 laps to go. However, on the restart on the inside line, Gordon fell to 6th before a debris caution on lap 210. Following a caution for Danica Patrick's spin, Gordon came to pit road for 2 tires. He fell from 8th to 19th after a slower car came in for a stop directly ahead of him on exit. The next caution waved on lap 225 after Matt Kenseth hit Kurt Busch, which collected Ryan Newman. Gordon held the low line and advanced to 17th place. However, he lost 3 spots on the restart prior to the next caution on lap 238 for a crash involving Ricky Stenouse, Danica Patrick, and Travis Kvapil. Gordon came to pit road for tires and restarted in 25th place on lap 242. On fresher tires, he advanced to 20th with 50 laps to go.

With 44 to go, Paul Menard hit Gordon coming off turn 2, sending the #24 car into a spin. Gordon came to pit road for tires and restarted in 25th. He moved to 20th with 35 laps to go and took 18th from Clint Bowyer with 28 to go. Two laps later he passed Menard for 17th. Gordon kept up a swift pace with fresher tires and took 14th from Dale Earnhardt Jr with 20 laps to go. He passed Bobby Labonte for 12th with 14 laps to go and moved to 11th around Carl Edwards with 11 to go. However, Edwards moved around Gordon to drop him to 12th with 6 laps to go. A debris caution with 5 laps to go brought a green/white/checkered finish. Gordon moved up to 11th for the restart after Denny Hamlin came to pit road for tires. He moved to 10th when Tony Stewart ran out of fuel with 2 to go.

Turning point
A pit stop on lap 219 hindered Gordon's track position. He came onto pit road running in 8th place, but departed in 19th place after having to avoid a slower car coming in. The timing couldn't have been worse since it was the final round of pit stops for the leaders. Nevertheless, Gordon regrouped in the final 40 laps to post a 10th place effort.

JG's comments
"I am pretty impressed with the team and thank them for hanging in there with me. It was a frustrating day. We just weren't really good with the car all weekend. We had to fight through. We had track position and we were maintaining that. And the strategies just started getting all over the place and we lost that track position. It was just a real struggle. I just appreciate the team working hard and hanging in there with me and to come back and get a Top 10 is pretty impressive."

At the end, you either had to have much fresher tires or you had to have clean air. And I can thank Paul Menard for the fresh tires. That actually kind of really changed things for us and we were able to pass a bunch of cars that didn't come in and get tires on that that last run."

"I wasn't happy. But, none of that is worth it for 20th or 18th or whatever we were racing for. I don't even know what it was. But it is what it is."

"We fought hard for tenth today and that was important to do. I don't know what it did for us in the points, but I think the reason why, as a team, we were frustrated today is because we tested here and we came here with pretty high hopes as an opportunity to win. And it just never felt like we were in position or had a car that could win today. So, that's something we’ve got to do a better job of when we get to Indy."

"We'll use the off-time to relax. But this team never stops working and I'll do whatever it takes with them to prepare for what we need to go and do in these next seven races."

"I am able to set aside what happens at the race track when I leave the race track. We all go through tough times and frustration and this team has been through it before. It's not fun. We don't like it. But, we know what we are as a group and a team and we've got to stick together and we are. And we just will continue to do the best that we can. Everybody, no matter whether you're leading the points or running where we are in the points or 30th in the points, everybody has to take moments to step away and relax a little bit and regroup. And so, this off-weekend will be good for everybody."

Actions And Consequences
COKE ZERO 400 - Daytona International Speedway. Finish: 34th

Never underestimate the importance of pit stall selection. After running in the top-5 in the late stages of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, Jeff Gordon got into the grass to avoid Joe Nemechek's car on pit road and dropped outside the top-10. He was later swept up in a multi-car wreck while running in the middle of the pack and finished 34th. Gordon fell to 14th in the series points standings, 12 points outside the top-10. At the front of the field, Jimmie Johnson led the most laps en route to a sweep of the Cup series races at Daytona in 2013.

Gordon started 23rd and entered the top-20 within 2 laps. Using the middle line, he moved to 13th on lap 8. However, he dropped back in the draft and ran 21st on lap 13. The first caution waved on lap 24 for Paul Menard's engine. Pit stops followed with Gordon opting for 2 tires and restarting 17th on lap 27. At the 100-mile mark, Gordon ran on the outside line in 22nd place. On lap 50, he moved to the middle lane and advanced to 17th in a draft with Trevor Bayne. However, 5 laps later he had slipped to 23rd. A caution for Joey Logano's wall contact on lap 71 brought Gordon to pit road for tires and fuel. He restarted 23rd on lap 75. Gordon moved to the middle lane and advanced to 12th place behind Jimmie Johnson in the draft. He entered the top-10 for the first time just before the halfway point of the event.

On lap 92, he moved up to 3rd in a drafting line behind Jamie McMurray and Jimmie Johnson. The next caution came at lap 98 for a wreck involving Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex, and Juan Pablo Montoya. Gordon changed 2 tires during the round of pit stops and restarted in 3rd. Gordon ran 4th in single file for several laps before a caution with 33 laps to go for a crash involving Aric Almirola and David Stremme. After coming to pit road, Gordon moved to the grass to avoid Joe Nemechek and dropped from 4th to 12th for the restart with 28 to go. He briefly dropped to 14th before getting into a draft behind Kyle Busch and moved to 11th with 22 laps to go. Gordon ran the high line in 15th place with Carl Edwards directly behind him with 16 to go.

Mired in traffic, Gordon was caught up in a multi-car wreck with 11 laps to go. Gordon sustained heavy damage to the right side of the car. The race was red flagged for nearly 10 minutes for track cleanup. With a damaged radiator,

Turning point
After the final pit stop, Gordon got into the grass trying to avoid Joe Nemechek and dropped from 4th to 12th for the restart with 28 laps to go.

JG's comments
JEFF GORDON POST-RACE COMMENTS (34th place): "We lost some track position there, we had a really strong car. A really good handling car, so I was happy about that... We were sitting there kind of riding along hoping that outside lane -- I can't say we were riding because it was pretty aggressive. But, just nowhere to go just riding the outside lane hoping that it would start to make progress. I don't know, I just saw somebody spin in front of me (Hamlin) and we all tried to avoid him. Matt (Kenseth) got sideways and I didn't have anywhere to go there. It got the right front and that just fed the car into the wall. So, it was unfortunate. I still think we had a great shot at getting the car to the front. We had a very strong race car. You gotta survive before you can ever get there. You gotta finish too."

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