July News

Indiana Farewell
BRICKYARD 400 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Finish: 42nd

Jeff Gordon's final race in his adopted home state of Indiana was a 42nd place finish in the Brickyard 400. Gordon was running 15th when Clint Bowyer spun ahead of him. He swerved with Kasey Kahne on his outside and lost control. The car spun and made heavy contact with the left front and rear. Repairs in the garage were needed and Gordon finished more than 50 laps down.

Gordon started 19th and gained three spots in the opening laps to run 16th on lap 5. He advanced to 15th on lap 10, but slipped back to 16th after Matt Kenseth passed one lap later. He came to pit road for a green flag stop on lap 30, which also included chassis adjustments. Gordon cycled through in 15th place. The first caution waved on lap 44 for debris. Pit stops followed with Gordon restarting in 15th place. However, Gordon swerved to avoid Clint Bowyer's spin on lap 51 and spun into the wall on the short chute between turns 3 and 4. The car was heavily damaged and Gordon lost 3 laps on pit road while repairs were made. After being unable to maintain minimum speed, Gordon brought the damaged car to the garage for more extensive repairs on lap 71.

Gordon returned to the race and was 54 laps down. He gained a spot because of attrition and finished in 42nd place. It was his worst finish since August 2008 when he finished 42nd at Michigan. He remains 12th in the NASCAR Chase standings.

JG's comments
"I was underneath Kasey Kahne. We were just racing for position. I saw Clint Bowyer get sideways. I don't know what caused it. Kasey and I were trying to check up to avoid it. I don't know if he got loose, or we just both got loose together. Then I just lost control and got in the wall. We're never going to give up. We got back out there as fast as we could, but the splitter is too torn up on the front. It was really creating lift and the car didn't have any front downforce so it was pushing really bad."

Quiet Knight
5-HOUR ENERGY 301 - New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Finish: 9th

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.

JG's comments
"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."

Consistent In Kentucky
QUAKER STATE 400 - Kentucky Speedway. Finish: 7th

Jeff Gordon will conclude his NASCAR career with victories on 24 different tracks. The one track missing from his trophy collection is Kentucky Speedway. Gordon posted a 7th place finish in the Quaker State 400 -- it was his fifth straight top-10 at Kentucky in 5 races there. At the front of the field, Kyle Busch claimed his second victory in the last 3 races as he continues his remarkable comeback from an early-season broken leg and foot.

Gordon started 3rd and moved to the runner-up spot within one lap. The first caution waved on lap 18 for a crash involving Josh Wise. On the restart, Gordon dropped to 5th. He regouped to take 4th from Kyle Larson on lap 25. The lead lap cars came to pit road after a competition caution on lap 30. Gordon exited pit road in 5th place after taking 2 tires. He slipped back on the restart and ran 9th on lap 40. Gordon continued battling handling issues and ran 12th on lap 50. He held the spot until a debris caution brought the leaders to pit road on lap 81. Gordon restarted in 11th place on lap 85. He re-entered the top-10 on lap 90, and ran in 9th place on lap 95. He passed Larson to take 8th on lap 98 just prior to a caution for Kurt Busch's spin. Gordon came to pit road for two tires and restarted in 9th place. He moved to 8th on lap 107 with a move around Larson. Gordon slipped to 9th on lap 120 prior to a caution for JJ Yeley's wall contact. Pit stops followed with Gordon restarting in 17th place because of pit crew contact with Jamie McMurray's car. At the halfway point, Gordon ran in 13th place.

A debris caution slowed the field on lap 136. Gordon stayed out and restarted in 11th place. He fell to 17th on lap 143 when the caution waved for Jeb Burton's crash. Gordon came to pit road for 4 tires and restarted in 30th place. He advanced to 25th before the next caution on lap 153. Gordon stayed on the track and restarted in 9th place where he essentially regained the lost track position from the previous pit stop. He quickly moved to 7th on lap 158 and closed on Jimmie Johnson for a position. He took 6th from Johnson on lap 162. However, Brad Keselowski went by on lap 170 to send Gordon back to 7th. A debris caution slowed the field on lap 186. Pit stops followed and Gordon exited in 9th place. He moved to 7th after the restart on lap 192. Keselowski sent him back to 8th on lap 204. The next caution waved on lap 207 for Danica Patrick's spin. Gordon exited pit road in 12th place. With four tires, he took spots from drivers on two tires and moved to 8th with 52 laps to go. He took 7th from Trevor Bayne with 50 to go prior to a caution for Kyle Larson's wall contact. With 40 to go, Gordon moved to 6th after taking spots from Keselowski and Kevin Harvick. Gordon held the spot until Keselowski passed with 7 to go.

JG's comments
"As usual in Kentucky it is never easy. The team did a really good job. We had to fight through a few handling issues and some restarts and pit road and a bunch of things, but there at the end everything kind of came together. We got the car working really well, got a couple of good restarts and a good pit stop. It was a solid evening. It wasn't a winning evening, but I'm still real proud of the effort."

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE CHANGES IN THE PACKAGE? "It's hard to gauge at this place. It is such a challenging racetrack already. Basically the cars just drove really bad right from the beginning and just always drove bad around all the cars. It didn't change a whole lot when you are around other cars. I don't know. I think we have to give it a try somewhere... we've got to get the right tires on it. This is not the right tire. It is still way too hard. It doesn't have near enough grip at the beginning of a run. It doesn't really fall off. The only way you can make a low downforce package work is to have the proper tire on there. I'm glad we tried it, did a little more work, I'm looking forward to trying it again. I'm looking forward to trying what we are going to have at Indy too.

Closing The Daytona Chapter
COKE ZERO 400 - Daytona International Speedway. Finish: 6th

Jeff Gordon finished 6th in his final race at the famed Daytona International Speedway, although the results were overshadowed by a massive crash on the final lap that saw Austin Dillon's car launched into the catchfence at the start/finish line. At the front of the field, Dale Earnhardt Jr scored the victory.

After nearly a 4-hour delay for rain, the Coke Zero 400 took the green flag just before midnight. Gordon started 23rd and quickly moved into the top-20 by using the middle line. He moved low and entered the top-10 by lap 3. The first caution waved on lap 4 for a wreck triggered by David Gilliland's spin coming off turn 4. The chain reaction in the pack collected Joey Logano, Bobby Labonte, Greg Biffle, Sam Hornish, and Danica Patrick. Gordon restarted 8th on lap 8. He locked into a tight draft with Jimmie Johnson and entered the top-5 on lap 11. He ran 4th when the competition caution came on lap 25. Pit stops followed with Gordon exiting in 4th place after a two-tire change. On the restart, Gordon was caught on the outside line and dropped out of the top-10. He regrouped from 19th place on lap 31 and used the draft to run 11th by lap 35. Gordon worked his way back into the top-10 by lap 40. He ran in 6th place when the caution waved on lap 53 for Carl Edwards' spin. Gordon held 6th through the round of pit stops. He moved to 5th on the restart prior to the next caution for David Gilliland's cut tire. At the halfway point, Gordon ran in 9th place.

A caution on lap 85 for an incident involving Kyle Larson, Carl Edwards, and Brian Scott. Gordon restarted in 4th place after a two-tire pit stop. After running as high as 3rd, Gordon dropped to 10th in the middle line on lap 100. Gordon narrowly evaded a major wreck on lap 106 which was triggered by Kasey Kahne and Matt Kenseth. The melee eliminated 10 drivers from contention, including Kahne, Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Aric Almirola, Kyle Larson, and Martin Truex. Gordon came to pit road for two tires and restarted in 4th place. With 41 to go, Gordon was caught in the middle and dropped to 7th. He regrouped by moving to the low line behind Denny Hamlin. The next caution came on lap 127 for Danica Patrick's cut tire. Gordon restarted 11th with 28 laps to go. He took a spot from Jimmie Johnson and ran 8th with 25 to go. However, with 23 to go, Gordon was shuffled to the middle line and dropped to 10th. Gordon pulled behind Johnson to re-enter the top-10 on the low line. He moved up to 3rd place behind Dale Earnhardt Jr and Jimmie Johnson with 10 to go. Two laps later, David Ragan spun on the backstretch to bring out the caution. Gordon restarted 4th with 9 laps to go. However, he was caught in the middle line and dropped to 7th. With 6 to go, Sam Hornish spun on the backstretch to bring out the caution and set up a green/white/checkered finish. Gordon pushed Kevin Harvick on the final lap, and was collected in the melee after coming across the line in 6th place.

JG's comments
"It was crazy. I'm so glad Austin Dillon's OK. That was a violent wreck. I hope the fans are OK as well. That was a crazy one. Right from the start I thought it was a wild race with a lot of action and crazy stuff going on. Our car was excellent. It was so good. A couple moves here and there, it's so hard to predict these races and what line to be in. One time they came up the middle. I thought that was the place to be. Trevor Bayne got to the outside of me and that lane was going. That's all it takes is that split second decision and one move to go your way or not go your way. We got shuffled back, but we were making good ground behind Kevin Harvick. We were pushing like crazy just wide open. It's like a video game out there these days, except it's real life. It's crazy. I love Daytona. This place has been amazing for me. I can't believe it's my final race here. But after going through that experience, I'm glad I just have one more restrictor plate race left.

"I think all the Hendrick cars were strong enough to win, but Dale is so good at picking the lanes, controlling the race, and he's got a fast race car as well. He does an excellent job. Congrats to those guys."

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