November News

Sixth Sense
Miami 400 - Homestead-Miami Speedway. Finish: 11th

Jimmie Johnson claimed his 6th NASCAR championship in the last 8 years with an 8th place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway. His Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon posted his best points finish since 2009 by finishing 9th. That earns Gordon a stage invitation at the NASCAR banquet for the 19th time in the last 20 years. Gordon concluded his season with an 11th place effort at Homestead. At the front of the field, Denny Hamlin capped an arduous and injury-plagued season with a victory in the season-finale.

Gordon started 26th and moved into the top-20 within 7 laps. He ran 19th when the first caution waved on lap 10 for debris. Pit stops followed with Gordon exiting in 24th place. He re-entered the top-20 on lap 19 and advanced to 16th on lap 23. The next caution came on lap 24 for Travis Kvapil's spin. Gordon pitted and restarted in 20th place. He quickly moved up to 17th within a lap of the restart. Gordon entered the top-10 with a move around Ryan Newman on lap 34. Eight laps later he entered the top-5. At the 50-lap mark, Gordon took 4th from Brad Keselowski. The third caution came at lap 68 for debris. Gordon held 4th place through the cycle of pit stops. He dropped to 6th shortly after the restart and was in 7th when the next caution waved on lap 90 for Dave Blaney's spin. Gordon restarted in 8th place on lap 94. He fell to 9th by lap 100, but rebounded as the run progressed to take 7th from Dale Earnhardt Jr on lap 105. Fifteen laps later he re-entered the top-5. However, Earnhardt Jr went by on lap 123 to send Gordon back to 6th place. Just after the halfway point, Gordon came to pit road for a green flag pit stop.

A debris caution on lap 152 brought pit stops with Gordon holding the 6th spot. As the sun began setting, Gordon moved closer to the front by taking 3rd place from Brad Keselowski on lap 170. The next caution came on lap 193 for debris. Gordon came to pit road and restarted in 2nd place. However, he spun the tires on the restart and dropped to 8th place. He eventually regrouped and moved up to 6th with 64 laps to go. A caution on lap 206 for Paul Menard's cut tire slowed the field. Gordon exited pit road in 8th place after opting for four tires. He made his way back into the top-5 with a move around Kevin Harvick with 50 laps to go. Paul Menard's inferno on pit road brought out a caution with 36 to go. Gordon held 5th place through the final round of pit stops. He struggled on the inside line and fell to 9th within a lap of the restart. With 20 to go, he dropped to 10th as Jimmie Johnson went by. Gordon finished the season with a 11th place finish.

Turning point
Gordon restarted in 5th place on the final restart with 21 laps to go, but struggled on the inside line and dropped back in the field.

JG's comments
TALK ABOUT YOUR 11TH PLACE FINISH TODAY: "It's pretty disappointing. We were much better than that all day long. We were just trying to make it better and better and better all day long keeping up with track conditions. We made an adjustment that I asked for there at the end and it just went the wrong way. Unfortunately, we fell back there at the end. We were definitely a top-five car all night. I don't think we had a winning car, but certainly a top-five so disappointed to finish 11th."

"You know they are unbelievable and they proved it again this year just how good they are as a group, as a team, Jimmie as a driver, Chad (Knaus) as a crew chief. The whole group they are just, Hendrick Motorsports, everybody is just so good. But specifically the No. 48 they just have a chemistry and a way to make incredible things happen especially at the right times. That is unbelievable six championships. I'm happy for Rick (Hendrick) congratulations to him, happy for Jimmie and Chad and that whole 48 team."

"Yeah, I was trying to get some momentum and he (Denny Hamlin) checked up and it just messed the whole thing up and I got wheel spin. That is the second time this year I have done that right in front of Matt (Kenseth) and he has drove right into the back of me and about wrecked us both. The last thing I would want to do in front of Matt is that, but you can't run into the guy you know. It was a bad unfortunate situation and it just trickles on back from there. It could have been even worse."

Late Fade In The Desert
Advocare 500k - Phoenix Intl Raceway. Finish: 14th

Jeff Gordon was officially eliminated from title contention after posting a 14th place finish at Phoenix Raceway. Gordon led 49 laps during the event and restarted in 5th in the closing stages. However, he struggled on the inside line and wound up 14th at the finish.

Gordon started 5th and moved to the runner-up spot within a lap after Joey Logano got into Jimmie Johnson, which forced the field to slow down. Gordon tracked down Denny Hamlin and took the lead on lap 19. The first caution waved on lap 50 for Hamlin's spin in turn 2. Pit stops followed with Gordon maintaining the race lead after opting for two tires. However, on the restart, Kevin Harvick used the outside line to take the lead. Jimmie Johnson took a spot from Gordon on lap 60 to send him to 3rd. The next caution waved on lap 100 for boredom. Gordon came to pit road for four tires and exited in 6th place due to some drivers opting for two tires. He moved to 5th prior to a caution for Timmy Hill's crash on lap 117. Gordon fell to 8th after the restart as he was hindered by the inside line. The next caution came on lap 131 for Dave Blaney's spin. After the restart, Gordon passed Martin Truex and Kurt Busch to run 6th on lap 140.

The next caution came on lap 144 for a crash involving Cole Whitt and David Reutimann. Gordon re-assumed the race lead after staying out while the leaders pitted. The next caution came for JJ Yeley's spin on lap 161. Gordon pitted for two tires and restarted in 19th place. He moved through race traffic and ran in 15th place on lap 178. Gordon slipped to 16th prior to a caution for Reutimann's wreck on lap 189. Gordon stayed out and restarted in 6th place on lap 200. He moved around Brad Keselowski to take 5th with 100 laps to go. Gordon pitted under green with 67 to go. When the pit stop sequence cycled through, Gordon ran 5th with 35 laps to go. A debris caution slowed the field with 30 to go. Gordon struggled on the inside line and dropped to 13th place with 20 to go. He finished the event in 14th place and remains 6th in the series standings.

Turning point
Gordon restarted in 5th with 26 laps to go, but struggled on the inside line and dropped outside the top-10.

Turn The Page
AAA TEXAS 500 - Texas Motor Speedway. Finish: 38th

Jeff Gordon cut a tire on lap 73 at Texas Motor Speedway and made heavy contact with the wall. Gordon pulled into the garage for lengthy repairs, which essentially put a dagger in his championship hopes. The 38th place finish dropped Gordon to a tie for 6th in the standings, trailing points leader Jimmie Johnson by 69.

Gordon started 8th and dropped to 11th by the end of lap 2. He re-entered the top-10 with a pass on Joey Logano just before a debris caution on lap 15. Gordon came to pit road for four tires and restarted in 8th place. However, he was caught in the middle of a 3-wide pack coming off turn 2 and dropped to 15th on lap 20. He dropped as low as 17th before taking a position from Denny Hamlin on lap 25. Gordon steadily worked through race traffic and advanced to 13th on lap 35. Ten laps later he moved up to 10th place by passing Ricky Stenhouse. The next caution waved on lap 56 after Kyle Busch got into the turn 3 wall. Gordon held 10th place through the round of pit stops.

However, Gordon's hopes for the championship took a major hit (literally) on lap 73 when a flat tire resulted in heavy contact with the right side against the wall. Gordon pulled behind the wall for repairs and exited the car. After almost two hours, Gordon returned to the race in the final 80 laps. He picked up 4 spots and finished the event in 38th place.

Turning point
A flat tire heading down the frontstretch on lap 73 resulted in wall contact, which essentially ended Gordon's title hopes for 2013.

JG's comments
"I just know the left front went down as I was going down the front straightaway. I felt it before I got there and just couldn't get it slowed down enough. The wind was so strong that the car was doing funky things down the straightaway. I don't know if that was a slow leak or it just went all of a sudden. Our car just didn't take off very good, but boy was it strong on the long runs. We just needed to get some better track position on the inside on the restarts and we actually had a really good race car. But it's unfortunate. This is definitely going to hurt (in points). We'll just get what we can out of this day and go on to Phoenix."

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