Jeff Gordon's 2006 season began with a misjudgment and ended with a celebration-- only he was the bystander on both accounts. Gordon finished 26th in the Daytona 500 after contact with Tony Stewart coming off turn two put the right front of the DuPont Chevrolet in the wall. A promising sign occurred at Las Vegas when Gordon posted a 5th place finish. He struggled on the downforce tracks in 2005, and the top-5 finish to start the season increased the team's hopes.However, four sub-15th place finishes in six races during March, April, and May shuffled Gordon back to 9th in the points standings. As June rolled in, things didn't get much better as a hard crash at Pocono dropped Gordon from the top-10 in points. Gordon cut a tire going into turn one, turned hard left into the infield, and slammed the turn one wall with the driver's side. Within seconds, he exited the car unhurt. Gordon turned his fortunes around with a victory on the road course in Sonoma. He punctuated the weekend with the win after announcing his engagement to Ingrid Vandebosch. Gordon then followed that up two weeks later with a win at Chicagoland Speedway, courtesy of a bump pass on Matt Kenseth with three laps to go. Gordon qualified for the 'chase for the championship' with a 31st place finish at Richmond-- starting the chase 9th in points. When the chase began, Gordon turned in back-to-back 3rd place efforts at Loudon and Dover and was 2nd in points. However, a fuel pressure problem at Kansas and a wreck at Talladega resulted in two DNF's. Although Gordon closed the season with four top-10 finishes in the last five events, it was simply a numbers game and the points loss was too much to overcome. Nevertheless, he celebrated his marriage to Vandebosch in fine style with a private reception in Mexico before the Phoenix race. He finished 6th in the standings and celebrated Jimmie Johnson's first NASCAR championship as the successful car owner. After the season ended, Gordon and Vandebosch announced they would be expecting their first child in July 2007.
|Auto Club 500||9||13||15|
|Golden Corral 500||12||4||6|
|Food City 500||11||21||7|
|Crown Royal 400||16||40||9|
|Dodge/Save Mart 350||11||1||8|
|USG Sheetrock 400||13||1||10|
|AMD at the Glen||4||13||9|
|GFS Marketplace 400||12||2||6|
|Sony HD 500||14||5||4|
|Bank of America 500||41||24||10|
|Bass Pro 500||9||6||7|
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