2013: Indian Summer

Season Recap

Jeff Gordon hoped to begin 2013 with a dose of momentum from his season-ending victory in 2012. However, for the second year in a row, Gordon and the #24 team got off to a middling start. He was eliminated in an early crash in the Bud Shootout, but rebounded the following day to claim an outside front row start for the Daytona 500. Gordon led the first lap of the Daytona 500 -- the first time he led the opening lap of a season since 1999. However, he finished 20th in the season-opening race after fading back in traffic with less than 9 laps to go. A 9th place effort at Phoenix was offset by a 25th place finish at Las Vegas. At Bristol, a blown tire while leading relegrated him to a 34th place finish. An elixir came in early April at Martinsville where Gordon finished 3rd. He ran well at Texas the following week, but a late-race wheel bearing problem once again deflated his hopes with a 38th place finish. A qualifying crash at Kansas resulted in a 43rd place start, but Gordon rallied to finish 13th. A pair of 11th place efforts at Richmond and Talladega preceded Gordon's 700th career start.

At Darlington, Gordon finished 3rd in the milestone race. But inconsistency popped up again with a 35th place finish at Charlotte over Memorial Day weekend. Gordon battled track position and handling issues at Dover, but stayed out and caught a late race caution to finish 3rd. A 12th place effort at Pocono brought Gordon to Michigan where a poor qualifying effort doomed his chances. He started 29th and was caught up in a crash ignited by Bobby Labonte for an early exit. Nevertheless, he drove with passion at Sonoma to finish 2nd behind Martin Truex while making up 10 spots in the final 15 laps. An 8th place finish at Kentucky was followed by 34th at Daytona after getting shuffled back in traffic and a late crash. A summer stretch which saw Gordon finish 10th at Loudon, 7th at Indianapolis, and 2nd at Pocono (after leading on the final restart) allowed Gordon to move closer to Chase contention. However, an uncharacteristic error at Watkins Glen resulted in a crash and a 36th place finish. Following a 17th place finish at Michigan in mid-August, many wrote off Gordon's chances for the Chase.

For the second straight year, Gordon went on a late summer hot streak to put himself in position for the Chase. A 7th place finish at Bristol was followed by a 6th place finish at Atlanta. In the final race before the Chase cutoff, Gordon finished 8th at Richmond -- thus missing the Chase by 2 points. However, in the days following the Richmond race, it was deduced that Clint Bowyer's intentional spin (due to team orders) manipulated the finish to benefit a teammate. As such, NASCAR CEO Brian France made the unprecedented move to add Gordon to the Chase as the 13th driver.

Once the Chase began, the #24 carried the momentum with a 6th place finish at Chicagoland. However, a pit road mistake at Loudon relegated Gordon to a 15th place finish. Undaunted, he finished 4th at Dover, 3rd at Kansas, and 7th at Charlotte to move up to 4th in the series standings. Following a 14th place finish at Talladega, Gordon broke through with a victory at Martinsville to move to 3rd in the standings. Suddenly, it seemed as if the #24 team was a viable title contender. But his hopes were essentially dashed the following week at Texas. A flat tire sent Gordon into the wall and a 38th place finish. He concluded the season with subpar 14th and 11th place finishes at Phoenix and Homestead, respectively.

Gordon showed flashes of consistency during the late summer stretch, but ultimately, his lack of success early in the season made the Chase an uphill endeavor. The key to a successful Chase in 2014 starts with early season victories and much-coveted bonus points.

In his own words on pediatric cancer
"It is my goal that all children, both in the U.S. and abroad, will never have to worry about the threat of cancer or devastating late effects caused by cancer treatment. Thanks to the generosity and compassion of our dedicated donors and partners, together we WILL one day reach the finish line." - Jeff Gordon

2013 Statistics
RaceStartFinishPts Position
Daytona 50022019
Subway 500k598
Las Vegas 400102513
Food City 500113420
Auto Club 400191118
STP 5006312
Texas 50083815
STP 400431315
Toyota Dealers 40031114
Aaron's 49991114
Southern 5008313
Coca-Cola 600143515
FedEx 40020311
Pocono 400111211
Michigan 400293916
Save Mart 35010313
Quaker State 40012812
Coke Zero 400233414
Lenox 30151011
Brickyard 4009710
Pennsylvania 4002229
NASCAR at the Glen283613
Pure Michigan 400131714
Irwin Tools Night Race32713
AdvoCare 5005611
Federated Auto 4001813
Geico 400667
Sylvania 3003158
AAA 4001645
Hollywood Casino 4001434
Bank of America 500174
Camping World 50019145
Goody's 500913
AAA Texas 5008386
Advocare 500k5146
Miami 40026116

1 win. 6th in points
Goody's 500

Jeff Gordon Statistics

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