BANK OF AMERICA 500 - Charlotte Motor Speedway. Finish: 7th
Gordon started on the pole and led the first 25 laps before the caution waved for JJ Yeley's wall contact. After opting for four tires, Gordon restarted 8th on lap 30. He worked through drivers who took two tires and ran 5th on lap 38. However, he was unable to gain further headway prior to a green flag pit stop on lap 77. The next caution waved on lap 83 for Mark Martin's engine. On the restart, Gordon used the outside line to take 3rd from Jimmie Johnson. However, he battled a tight handling issue and dropped to 5th as Johnson and Kyle Busch passed by lap 125. Gordon came to pit road for a green flag stop on lap 127. At the halfway point, Gordon ran in 5th place, more than 10 seconds behind race leader Kasey Kahne.
A debris caution on lap 172 brought the lead lap cars to pit road. Gordon gained two spots exiting the pits and restarted in 3rd. Kyle Busch went by shortly after the restart to send Gordon to 4th. Matt Kenseth passed on lap 217, which dropped Gordon to 5th. Three laps later Ryan Newman tracked Gordon down for position. He came to pit road for a green flag stop on lap 228. Gordon took 6th from Newman shortly after the stops, but gave the spot back on lap 273. He came to pit road for a green flag stop with 52 laps to go.
Gordon once again took 6th from Newman after the round of pit stops. A debris caution with 28 laps to go took fuel strategy out of the equation. Gordon opted for two tires and restarted in 2nd place on the outside of Kasey Kahne. Two laps after the restart, Matt Kenseth went by on the high side to send Gordon to 3rd. Brad Keselowski passed the #24 car on the backstretch to send him to 4th. With 19 laps to go, Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson passed Gordon for position. Kevin Harvick passed Gordon with 17 to go, which moved him back to 7th place where he finished.
"It was a solid night. I was really good out front there in the beginning. We really struggled all day on Friday and tonight we could just not get it to take off good and then be good on the long runs. It looked like some guys were maybe a little bit freer than us on the shorter runs, but we were still able to maintain some good laps times and then be good on the long runs. It was a solid effort. It was a great call there to try to make two (tires) work. Our car was just way too tight to be able to do it. We lost a few more positions than I was hoping. But it was still solid."
DID THE LONG GREEN FLAG RUNS NOT GIVE ENOUGH TIME TO ADJUST ON THE CAR?
DO YOU THINK THIS WAS AN OPPORTUNITY LOST WITH HOW STRONG YOU THOUGHT YOUR CAR WAS ALL WEEKEND?
YOU ARE 36 POINTS BACK IN FOURTH; FIVE RACES IN. HOW GOOD IS THAT?
TALLADEGA IS CONSIDERED THE WILD CARD RACE. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT TALLADEGA AND MARTINSVILLE?
HOLLYWOOD CASINO 400 - Kansas Speedway. Finish: 3rd
Gordon started 14th and ran well ahead of a lap 1 crash involving Danica Patrick. He advanced to 12th by lap 35 and ran 11th when the caution waved on lap 42 for Michael McDowell slowing on the track. Gordon opted for two tires on the pit stop and restarted in 4th place. He used the outside line to take 3rd, but returned to 4th when Jimmie Johnson passed on lap 69. Gordon came to pit road for a stop on lap 85, just prior to a debris caution on lap 87. Although the caution trapped him a lap down, he stayed out for the wave around to get back on the lead lap. He restarted in 28th place on lap 92. Gordon steadily gained spots and ran 21st at the 100-lap mark. Gordon had advanced to 18th before the caution waved on lap 118 for Landon Cassill's engine. Pit stops followed with Gordon opting for two tires and restarting in 14th place. He ran 12th at the halfway mark just prior to a caution for a wreck involving Ryan Newman and Justin Allgaier.
Pit stops followed with Gordon opting for two tires. He restarted 11th on lap 144 and moved into the top-10 prior to the next caution for Travis Kvapil's spin on lap 146. Gordon moved around Carl Edwards and Dale Earnhardt Jr on lap 152 to take 7th place. However, he battled a tight handling condition and dropped to 11th by lap 165. A caution for David Gilliland's wreck with 97 to go brought Gordon to pit road for adjustments. He changed four tires and restarted in 19th place. Gordon gained 4 spots after the restart to run 15th, prior to a caution for Casey Mears' wall contact on lap 180. Kyle Busch's spin brought out another caution with Gordon moving up to 13th place. The next caution waved with 68 laps to go when Carl Edwards made contact with Busch, which sent him into the wall and destroyed the front of the M&M's Toyota. Gordon came to pit road for four tires and restarted in 28th place. He came to top off the fuel with 61 laps to go.
Gordon worked through race traffic and ran 18th with 50 laps to go. He moved up to 11th place prior to a debris caution with 40 to go. Gordon came to pit road for two tires and restarted in 3rd place because he didn't have to wait on fuel as the other drivers did. On the restart, Gordon moved around Jeff Burton to take the runner-up spot. He ran more than a second behind race leader Kevin Harvick before a caution for Brian Vickers' crash slowed the field with 25 laps to go. He restarted on the inside of Harvick with 19 to go. Kurt Busch moved to the outside to pass Gordon in turn 1. Gordon settled into 3rd place behind Busch where he finished the race.
"It was a great day for our team. Ever since the Chase started, they've been bringing me awesome race cars. We're having a lot of fun out there. Everything could have gone wrong for us today, and there at the end it actually went right. So, that's nice to have."
ON POST-RACE DISCUSSION WITH KURT BUSCH