October News

Off And Running
GOODY'S 500 - Martinsville Speedway. Finish: 2nd

Jeff Gordon posted a strong 2nd place effort at Martinsville Speedway to begin the Eliminator Round of the Chase, but felt a mistake cost him the prospect of finishing one spot higher. Gordon had the race lead in the mid-stages when a pit road speeding penalty sent him back to 30th place. He recovered to post his 3rd top-3 finish in the last 4 races at Martinsville. Gordon leads the NASCAR standings by 3 points.

Gordon started 13th and gained a spot before the first caution waved on lap 4. He took 11th from Ryan Newman on lap 12 and entered the top-10 with a pass on Carl Edwards on lap 14. The second caution came on lap 16. Gordon advanced to 7th by lap 25 after passing Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch. He entered the top-5 on lap 36 with moves around Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart. His forward advancement continued as he took 3rd from Matt Kenseth on lap 44. Two laps later he moved into the runner-up spot by passing Denny Hamlin. A caution on lap 75 brought the first round of pit stops. He restarted 2nd and took the race lead from Jamie McMurray on lap 85. Gordon led through the next caution on lap 160 when Kasey Kahne lost patience with Brian Vickers. Pit stops ensued with Gordon exiting pit road with the lead. The next caution came on lap 188 and pit stops followed. Gordon easily held the lead through the round of stops, but was penalized for speeding on pit road. He restarted in 30th place on lap 205. A quick caution allowed Gordon to move up to 24th place on lap 215. He re-entered the top-20 on lap 222 after Vickers exacted revenge on Kahne for the earlier incident by spinning the #5 car into the wall.

Gordon stayed on the track and restarted in 14th place on lap 227. After Matt Kenseth and Kevin Harvick made contact to bring out a caution, Gordon moved to 10th place. At the halfway point, Gordon ran in 9th place. A debris caution on lap 255 brought the leaders to pit road. Several drivers stayed on the track and Gordon restarted in 13th. He bided his time after the restart and re-entered the top-10 on lap 270. He ran in 7th place when the third act of the Vickers/Kahne trilogy brought out the caution on lap 277. Gordon came to pit road and restarted in 13th place due to some drivers staying out. He quickly moved back into the top-10 on fresher tires and ran 7th on lap 290. Gordon then passed Kyle Busch and Aric Almirola to move back into the top-5 on lap 293. A caution for Danica Patrick's spin on lap 296 brought some drivers to pit road. Gordon stayed out and restarted in 2nd place along side Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The outside line hindered Gordon on the restart and he dropped to 3rd on lap 305 behind Earnhardt Jr and Kurt Busch. He took the runner-up spot from Earnhardt Jr on lap 319 and closed in on Busch for the race lead. He worked his way around Busch to take the lead on lap 335. Denny Hamlin closed in on Gordon and took the lead on lap 359. A caution for Reed Sorenson's wall contact on lap 387 brought the leaders to pit road. Gordon held 2nd through the round of stops. He slipped to 3rd on the restart after Tony Stewart went by. Gordon regrouped and took 2nd from Stewart on lap 401. He closed within a car length of Hamlin prior to a debris caution on lap 417. Pit stops followed with Gordon exiting in 3rd place behind Clint Bowyer and Earnhardt Jr. He was able to move ahead of Hamlin and had the inside line for the restart. On the restart on lap 433, Gordon used the inside line to take 2nd from Earnnhardt Jr. A caution for a multi-car crash triggered by Brad Keselowski's transmission failure red-flagged the race with 64 laps to go. The melee collected Casey Mears, Kasey Kahne, Danica Patrick, and Martin Truex. After nearly a half hour delay, the race resumed with a restart with 58 to go. Gordon fell back on the outside line and ran 5th with 55 to go.

Gordon took 4th from Hamlin with 51 to go, and passed Joey Logano for 3rd with 45 to go. He passed Bowyer for 2nd with 34 to go and closed in on Earnhardt Jr for the victory. A caution with 11 laps to go for a crash involving Marcos Ambrose and Kyle Larson slowed the field. Gordon came to pit road for tires and restarted in 7th place. On the restart with 5 to go, he quickly moved to 3rd. He took 2nd from Tony Stewart with 3 to go. GOrdon closed in on Earnhardt Jr on the white flag lap, but couldn't catch his Hendrick Motorsports teammate for the win.

Turning point
Gordon played from behind in the second half of the race after a pit road speeding penalty. However, the outside line on a late race restart ultimately proved to be his downfall.

JG's comments
"A 1-2 finish [for Hendrick Motorsports]. We know how much the fans love to see Dale Earnhardt Jr. win. They certainly got that today. He did a great job, but for all of those at Hendrick Motorsports that lost friends and family members, people that paid an important in Hendrick Motorsports and in this sport. A 1-2 finish is the best way you can pay tribute to them. It was great effort today. I'm proud of the guys. We got behind. I made a big mistake on pit road and was speeding. I knew it. We had to go to the back and claw our way back up in there, so that was a great comeback and a total team effort by everybody."

"The good news is that a Chase driver did not win the race today. Finishing second isn't as big of a deal today, it's actually really a good finish and good points day compared to if a Chase driver would have won. I wanted to get that win to get ourselves locked in, but we have two more great tracks coming up and yeah, today was a great overall effort by the whole team."

"It was a great performance and a really good finish. I about threw this one away on pit road. I made a mistake there and was speeding. So that's a great comeback. I thought we had the car to beat. There at the end we were kind of stuck on the outside on one of those restarts and those guys got out there on us. At that point it was just about clawing our way back up there and me and Denny (Hamlin) were having a great battle and then late pit stops and those last couple of laps were just wild. Congratulations to (race winner) Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. That's the best way you can possibly pay tribute to those we lost here 10 years ago. To have a 1-2 finish is pretty awesome. I would have love to have gotten that win to move on to Homestead, but this is surely a great start for us. We've got two more great tracks coming up. I'm really proud of him and I know that means a lot to him and all his fans here."

In Media Center.... Q. Given what was at stake, what a win would have meant, what were you prepared to do? You tried to get to Dale Jr. What were you prepared to do if you had gotten there?
JEFF GORDON: I would have moved him for sure. There's no doubt in my mind. Everybody who is out there racing has to weigh risk versus reward. For me, to win this race, it's worth taking a lot of risk, even if you upset your teammate. I think everybody out there that's not in the Chase understands that if that guy can win that race and put himself in Homestead for the championship, you can pretty much guarantee that you're going to get the bumper or get slammed or something. I mean, Dale drove a nice, clean race. I never had an opportunity. Even prior to that, I didn't really have the car to run him down. We just lost the drive off there on that run. We were still a little bit better than him, but not enough to really go up there and run him down. We had our opportunities, no doubt about that. But, yeah, it wouldn't matter who it was. Anybody I would have taken big chances and big risks. You can do that here at Martinsville. It's a short track. You can get to people's bumpers. You can out-brake them, slide up into them. There's a lot of tactics you can use to be aggressive here that can win you the race. You can't do that everywhere, but you can do that here.

Q. Jeff, knowing there will be at least two spots on points now heading for Homestead, do you think that changes the way people race at all?
JEFF GORDON: Well, I've never felt like you couldn't think about being consistent in this format. You still have to be consistent. Points can still get you through. Your goal is to either win the race or be the highest in points. I think that gets you through no matter what. I will say that it makes me feel a little bit better about finishing second today, that it was second to somebody that's not in the Chase. Had that been somebody in the Chase, it would have been hard to swallow.

Q. Why were you speeding?
JEFF GORDON: I'm embarrassed to say this. Completely my fault. I said that on the radio. But I didn't want to go into details. We do two settings, one in first gear, one in second gear. A late sequence for each one. I ran second gear under my light sequence for first gear. Plain and simple. I looked up and Jamie was way behind me. I was like, Uh-oh. I knew right then I was speeding. Surprised I didn't hear anything in the box. I thought for sure they were going to say something. They didn't say anything till I left pit road. But I knew it right away. You have a sequence of lights on your tach. The way that they're set, you can set them for just different rpm ranges. It's not about a first gear, second gear, it's more about the range they're in in that rpm. I was supposed to run one green light in second gear and one red light in first gear. I ran one red light in second gear. That's way too fast (smiling).

Q. Despite the fact that Junior won and you finished second, are you in some ways grateful that Hendrick Motorsports really doesn't go by team orders from a philosophical standpoint?
JEFF GORDON: Yes and no. I would have liked to have had that win, but you don't want to do that because somebody moves over for you. I think that I said before, the only way I felt like you can work together as a team is cut somebody some slack a little bit. If you're in the outside lane trying to get to the inside lane, you know, just give-and-take a little bit I think is the smart thing to do. Not be too aggressive where you take a teammate out that's running for the championship, but at no point did I think it was about not racing hard for wins. Dale Jr. saw an opportunity to win, and you can't blame him for giving it everything he had to go get that win. That's awesome for him. Our job is to make sure that we secure that win by having the fastest car and the best pit stops, me making good decisions on the racetrack.

Q. On the restart, next to the last one, you restarted on the outside next to Clint. Junior was third. Did you either hope or expect he would cut you a little bit more slack there on that one and let you in?
JEFF GORDON: I was hoping. I mean, he let me in on one other one. I think the next time I was third, and he never even tried to move down. So I filled the gap. It's something we're going to talk about a little bit because I have a feeling that what happened was when I didn't let him in, he felt like, I'm not going to let him in again. I don't really know. But I'm not upset about it. You don't expect anybody to do anything. You hope, yeah, sure. You hope. I mean, I hoped Tony Stewart was going to let me in, too, one time. We about crashed going down turn three. That's racing. That's just part of it.

Q. Jeff, obviously you saw what happened with Kyle Busch when he finished third at Kansas. Do you take that into consideration into how you approach these next two races?
JEFF GORDON: Run that by me again. Kyle Busch finishing third at Kansas?

Q. He secured a spot in the next round.
JEFF GORDON: No, anything can happen. That's why you want that win so badly. I like our chances at the next two tracks. They're good tracks for us. Thank God none of them are Talladega. We got to go race. We got to race hard. We got to be smart and we got to go for it hard. That's the toughest thing about this thing, you got to go for it. You got to put everything out on the edge. If you go too far over the edge, you might be out. There's a very fine line there. We go to Texas. I mean, I feel like it's the way we race as a team anyway. We race smart. We work on the details, on the setups of the car, to try to make a fast racecar, go race to get the best finish we have, hope we get ourselves in the best position to win.

Q. You talked about it earlier, but why do you think Rick Hendrick comes to this track still? Does it surprise you at all that he comes here?
JEFF GORDON: I mean, under normal circumstances I would have said that I would be surprised. But he's not normal. I mean, this is an extraordinary man that when all that went down, two days later he was at Hendrick Motorsports speaking to all the employees. I mean, I was shocked then. I'm not shocked that he comes here now. It's just the kind of person that he is. I know it's not easy on him. I really do. I know that it puts extra pressure on us at Hendrick Motorsports when he's here to get that win because it's a way to really pay tribute. It's the ultimate way you can do it. We've been able to do it several times, which is very, very cool.

Fighting On
GEICO 500 - Talladega Superspeedway. Finish: 26th

Jeff Gordon headed into the race at Talladega Superspeedway with Afan 18-point cushion to advance to the Eliminator Round of the NASCAR Chase. After a 26th place finish, Gordon advanced to the next round by a mere 3 points. He was the final driver to transfer to the next round on points, and edged his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne for the final spot.

Gordon started in the rear of the field and ran in a draft behind the lead pack. He moved up to 33rd by lap 25 and came to pit road for a green flag stop on lap 41. After a two-tire change, Gordon ran back in 33rd place. The first caution waved on lap 60 when Jamie McMurray spun and collected Joey Logano. At the 100-lap mark, Gordon ran in 33rd place behind the lead draft. Gordon avoided a melee on lap 104 which was triggered by JJ Yeley getting turned on the backstretch. The incident collected Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart, among others. On lap 120, Gordon began moving forward from 32nd up to 26th place. A debris caution slowed the field on lap 130. Gordon pitted for tires and ran toward the rear of the field after the restart.

Kyle Larson spun coming off pit road to bring out the caution with 13 laps to go, which was during a green flag pit sequence. Gordon had not yet come to pit road at the time. Gordon pitted for four tires under caution and restarted in 21st place. On the restart, Gordon moved to the middle line and advanced into the top-20 prior to a debris caution with 4 laps to, which set up a green/white/checkered finish. Gordon skirted through a wreck on the backstretch after the restart. He crossed the line in 26th place and made the Eliminator Round by a mere 3 points over Kasey Kahne who finished 12th. Gordon is the only Hendrick Motorsports driver who is eligible to compete for the championship.

Turning point
A debris caution with 13 to go trapped Gordon on the track, which forced him to restart deep in the field.

Jeff Gordon Post-Race Comments
"I'm just mentally drained right now. It's always tough racing here at Talladega trying to put yourself in position to win. When you've got that much on the line and you know that your championship hopes are right there in that final moment, it's nerve wracking. I'm proud of this team and the job they did. We had a great strategy. Unfortunately a caution hit us at the absolute worst time. That put us behind. We fought hard. That last restart, the inside lane just didn't go anywhere. I was just sitting there going backwards and couldn't do a thing. I'm just glad we made it. I can't wait for Martinsville, Texas, and Phoenix -- they're all great tracks for us. This team has done some amazing work this year. These next 3 are where we're really going to shine and show it."

"It's very difficult. We knew that Jimmie and Dale Jr were in tough positions. But if anybody could win this race, either one of those guys could. Kasey, I knew he was going to race hard all day. He was in and out. I really thought he was going to make it. But I guess (Matt) Kenseth with the late charge there may have been the game changer. It's difficult. These are 3 guys who could be major factors in the championship. Great teams, great drivers, and friends of mine. I hate to see them not in there. But we're going to try to make Hendrick proud and go out there and get ourselves to Homestead."

Forward Advancement
BANK OF AMERICA 500 - Charlotte Motor Speedway. Finish: 2nd

Jeff Gordon took a step toward the third round of the Chase with a second place effort under the lights at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Gordon finished where he started the event behind pole sitter (and race winner) Kevin Harvick. Heading into Talladega, Gordon has an 18 point cushion on the Chase cutoff as the second round concludes in Alabama.

Gordon started on the outside of the front row and ran in 2nd behind Kyle Busch for the first 13 laps. He took the race lead from Busch on lap 14 and pulled away until the competition caution on lap 25. He exited pit road after a four tire change in 4th place after two drivers opted for two tires. On the restart, Gordon made quick work of Danica Patrick and Dale Earnhardt Jr and moved to 2nd behind Busch. He re-assumed the top spot by passing Busch on lap 38. Gordon kept the race lead over Kevin Harvick through a round of green flag pit stops on lap 75. The next caution came on lap 95 after Clint Bowyer's engine expired. Gordon again opted for four tires and restarted in 3rd place. He took 2nd from Jamie McMurray on lap 111, but ran 3 seconds behind Harvick. A caution on lap 135 for Paul Menard's engine brought the leaders to pit road. Gordon restarted in 2nd along side Harvick on lap 144, but fell to 4th on the inside line. He came to pit road for a green flag stop on lap 190 while battling a tight handling issue.

Following stops, Gordon ran in 5th place behind Harvick, McMurray, Kurt Busch, and Kyle Larson. A caution for Josh Wise's engine on lap 222 brought the lead lap cars to pit road. He restarted in 5th place, but struggled on the inside and dropped to 9th on lap 228. Brian Vickers' spin on lap 237 brought the caution. Pit stops ensued with Gordon opting for 2 tires. He restarted in 7th place on lap 242. The next caution came on lap 245 when Joey Logano spun Danica Patrick in turn 4. Gordon again restarted 7th on the inside line. He ran 8th when the next caution waved on lap 266. After pit stops, Gordon restarted 9th on lap 270. He moved to 7th within a lap of the restart, and took 6th from Kyle Busch. He re-entered the top-5 on lap 284 by passing Brad Keselowski. Three laps later he took 4th from Jimmie Johnson. With 39 to go, he passed Kyle Larson to take over 3rd. Gordon then tracked down and passed Denny Hamlin for the runner-up spot with 31 to go.

Gordon's final green flag stop came with 22 laps to go. He had to deal with traffic coming off the pit lane and dropped 6 seconds behind Harvick for the race lead. Brian Vickers' engine brought out the caution with 7 laps to go. Gordon lined up next to Harvick for the restart with 3 to go. He was unable to make headway on the inside line and finished the event in 2nd place. It was his first top-3 finish at Charlotte since he claimed the victory in October 2007 -- a span of 14 races.

Turning point
Gordon restarted in 9th place on lap 270. The car came to life on the short run, which put Gordon in position to challenge for the victory.

JG's comments
"I'm really proud of that effort. Kevin got out there on us after that last green flag stop. I didn't want to see another restart because every time we start on the inside we seemed to lose positions. We were just trying to tune to make it better. We got off a little bit and lost some track position. I had some terrible restarts. At the end, four tires and good adjustments, good restarts, and we were able to get right up in the thick of it. Kevin was tough. I knew when he got out front that he was going to be hard to beat him. This new format has created some serious drama. I'm happy about this 2nd place. It doesn't make us by any means very comfortable going into next week, but it's a lot better than it could have been."

"We had a great start to the race and got up there and took the lead from Kyle. I was pretty happy with my car, but rubber was laying down and track conditions were changing. We were trying to make some adjustments to keep up with it. I thought we made a really good adjustment, were able to keep the lead, and then we kind of lost a little bit of track position. We started on the inside there and just lost some positions and kind of fought it from there, tried to make some adjustments to make it better and it made it a little bit worse. But we stuck with it and finally there at the end we got a little bit out of cycle, some guys on two tires versus four tires. We put four tires on and made a really good adjustment to the car and were able to drive up through there all the way back to second and kind of closing on Kevin but just couldn't get close enough to him and then that green flag stop, it was kind of disastrous for us from the cars that were pitting and a bunch of other things that went on. We just didn't have some of the things that we needed to go a little bit better go our way. But really, really strong finish there to come back second, so I'm really proud of that."

In New Hampshire, you talked a little bit about the danger potentially of having to go into Talladega with all the craziness that can happen there with your fates at hand. I wanted you to elaborate on that, and I wondered how much or how little the potential to have a huge race in Talladega factored into the way you dealt with the race today?
"Yeah, I think everybody was pushing hard and now how much was on the line, not just this weekend but last weekend. A win in this particular round, if you want to call it, nobody wants to deal with Talladega. Everybody would like to take the weekend off there if they could. Two guys in some ways get to, and the rest of us are going to have to go race there. We've got a little bit of a cushion but not near enough to be comfortable by any means. We'll go and race the way we normally do there, which is just try to be smart, try to stay out of the mess and then put ourselves in a good position to get a good finish, hope it works out. But yeah, the format is definitely creating a lot of drama, a lot of intensity, a lot of pressure, and each round seems to intensify that much more. Today's performance by us was huge and crucial, I think, because we do at least have a much bigger buffer than some other guys do. There's going to be some guys that really have to win at that race and that have to maybe get a top 5 or make up a lot of points. Certainly these last two weeks have shaken things up quite a bit. I like our chances. I think we've got an excellent race team, and I really hope we can make it through Talladega because I think the next round suits us very, very well.

The final caution, did that pump you up thinking, okay, I've got another shot at this victory, or was it more pressure, worried that you might lose second place to someone?
"I would have liked it if Kevin decided to give me a shot and start on the inside. That would have got me pumped up. But I lost positions every single restart on the inside. I think I started on the outside once and made positions up and every other one I was on the inside and lost positions. I was thankful to be in that position. I knew our car was really good right then and I just didn't want to spin the tires, and I knew Jamie was really good on the outside there. He got by me on the outside on a previous restart. I was just hoping that that clean air I had on the nose that the car would stick on the bottom, and it stuck pretty good. I got a good start and was able to fall in behind Kevin. At that point I was just kind of settling for second because my car just wasn't doing what I needed it to do to make any move on him."

Is this Chase turning into some bizarre psychological experiment? Seems like people are kind of coming unbolted here as you get down to these rounds.
"I mean, there's a lot on the line. It's not an experiment. It's just the new format, I think we all knew would make the emotions get out of whack by who's in, who's out, who's on the bubble, how your races are going. When you have just these three-race segments and then they clean the slate and start all over, it creates a lot of drama, and I think they knew that going in, and that's why they did it. It's going to shake things up from here on out. It's going to make this championship that much tougher to win. It's going to make it tough to make it to Homestead, and especially because you're not just racing the other guys in the Chase, you're also racing everybody out there, and they're all racing hard, wanting to win races, as well, wanting to get good finishes for many different reasons. Everybody is pushing extremely hard. You throw in a green-white-checkered restart, and there's your drama, and there's already a lot on the line and emotions running high, then you do that, and you have guys on four tires, guys on no tires, it's going to make things crazy. It's only going to intensify from here on out."

I'm just curious what is your team's mindset heading to Talladega. You're still not locked into the Chase. Was it a sense of relief for tonight even though you didn't get the victory?
"My first question when I got out of the car was how many points did we gain or where are we at, 17 up on ninth, I guess. That is not what I wanted to hear. I wanted to hear that we were 35 or 38 or something like that up on ninth. But we knew that that was going to be tough to do. We're going to have to just go race Talladega, which isn't a bad thing. I don't like leaving things up to chance, which happens a lot of times at Talladega, but at the same time if it's meant to be, we go race hard and do what we need to do to try to win that race, and if it's meant to be for us to move on to the next round, we'll find out. If our team is good enough, if our cars are good enough, which I think we are, we'll go through to the next round."

You're a guy who doesn't lose his temper very often. How mad would Matt Kenseth have to be to do that?
"Yeah, he must have been pretty mad. I think Matt is a pretty calm and collected guy. Over the years he and I have had our incidents but that was because I was mad. I don't think he was mad at me. I can't remember. I wrecked him one time and I don't remember him being mad at me that much."

He wrecked you more than once
"Yeah. And he's never come and tried to put a headlock on me. We usually talk it out. Obviously there was some built-up animosity towards Brad. I'd better hold the rest of my thoughts back to myself."

Surviving Kansas
HOLLYWOOD CASINO 400 - Kansas Speedway. Finish: 14th

Jeff Gordon called his 14th place finish at Kansas Speedway a "survival day." In many ways, that's what it was. Gordon battled handling issues for most of the event while Chase contenders Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski, and Dale Earnhardt Jr all posted sub-30th place finishes. Gordon is tied for 7th in the NASCAR standings, and is 8 points ahead of the Chase round cutoff for the next round.

Gordon started 5th and dropped to 6th on the inside line at the outset of the race. He slipped to 7th when Dale Earnhardt Jr passed on lap 10. Gordon battled a loose condition and dropped to 8th by lap 20. Ten laps later, he moved back into 7th by passing Aric Almirola, and then took 6th from Brian Vickers. He re-entered the top-5 on lap 40 by passing Brad Keselowski. A debris caution on lap 70 brought the leaders to pit road. Gordon opted for 2 tires and restarted in 4th place. Shortly after the restart, Gordon and Jamie McMurray made contact, with Gordon brushing the turn 4 wall. He dropped to 19th before a multi-car wreck that involved Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle, Josh Wise, and Justin Allgaier. Gordon came to pit road to check the sheet metal and restarted in 22nd place on lap 91. At the 100-lap mark, Gordon ran in 20th place.

He steadily worked through race traffic and ran in 16th place on lap 120. A caution for Dale Earnhardt Jr's cut tire and subsequent wall contact on lap 123 brought the leaders to pit road. A tire rolled across pit road during the stop and Gordon had to drop to the tail end of the line for the restart. He moved from 22nd to 16th by lap 160. A caution for Keselowski's cut tire and wall contact brought the caution on lap 161. Gordon worked through traffic and advanced to 12th on lap 175. He took 11th from Austin Dillon and re-entered the top-10 with a move around Denny Hamlin on lap 180. Gordon moved to 9th prior to a caution for Joey Gase's crash on lap 189. Pit stops followed with Gordon restarting 10th on lap 196. With 60 to go, Gordon ran in 9th place. He moved to 7th with 52 to go when Kevin Harvick came to pit road with a tire issue. Gordon took 6th when Kasey Kahne pitted on lap 227. One lap later, Greg Biffle cut a tire and hit the wall to bring out a caution. Gordon came to pit road for four tires and restarted in 8th place with 35 to go. After Clint Bowyer got a run on the outside, Gordon battled handling issues and dropped back to 14th place before the next caution for Kasey Kahne's wall contact with 32 to go. With 15 to go, Gordon ran in 15th place. He took 14th when Jamie McMurray came to pit road with a tire issue with 5 laps to go.

Turning point
Contact with Jamie McMurray cost track position on lap 75. A tire got away on pit road on lap 125 dropped him outside the top-20. From there, it was an uphill battle for track position.

JG's comments
"It was a handful, that's for sure. We were having a pretty solid day until the #1 car [Jamie McMurray] got loose and got into our left rear. Just way over his head. I know he had a good car, he's been running good but he just got loose and got into me. That got me in the wall. We had a little damage but we lost all that track position. It's so hard to get it back at this place. We somewhat got it back. On that last restart, I was just real loose. I had been a little loose, but not that loose. We just fell back. It wasn't good. We struggled and hung on there. A lot of people had trouble today, so today was a real survival day. We did that. I just felt like we could have finished a lot better. We had a good race car.... we actually had a great race car."

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