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Gordon’s Chase chances and merchandise sales may be doomed after Michigan

By admin | August 19, 2012

By Richard Allen


Jeff Gordon never looked like a particularly serious threat to win the Pure Michigan 400 at the Michigan International Speedway on Sunday. But if he could have only gotten to the finish unscathed, he could have at least kept his hopes for a Chase for the Championship alive. And while his title hopes are not necessarily dead, he certainly did take a hit when he suffered engine problems in the middle section of the race.

More than his Chase hopes, Gordon’s popularity(not to mention his merchandise sales) may have been dealt a devastating blow when he ran afoul of his teammate and the sport’s most popular driver in Dale Earnhardt, Jr. during a restart prior to his engine woes.

After Junior blew by Gordon on the bottom side of turn one, Gordon radioed, “Tell the f***ing 88 he can thank me for not wrecking his a**. That was stupid.”

Junior was more than a little miffed at Gordon’s displeasure. “Wreck me!” he exclaimed when told of his teammate’s comments.

After Gordon suffered his mechanical trouble, he hardly backed down from his original remarks. “I didn’t think it was very smart what he did,” he declared. “He took me four-wide and then he slid up in front of me. If I hadn’t checked up, I would have wrecked him and a bunch of us. So it happened and we move on.

“I don’t blame him for taking me four-wide,” the former champion further added. “But if you’re going to take a guy four-wide, don’t come sliding up the racetrack because that is going to wreck you and other people.”

In the end, Gordon wound up with a 28th place finish after coming back from the garage to rejoin the race once repairs were made. That subsequently dropped him to 16th in the Sprint Cup standings. He is now 30 points behind current wildcard position holder Ryan Newman.

Of course, should Gordon win one of the next three races he could move himself back into championship contention. However, he has all but lost the possibility of making the Chase by out-pointing the other drivers with only one win.

Junior finished 4th in the race, and likely sold more merchandise than Gordon as well.

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5 Responses to “Gordon’s Chase chances and merchandise sales may be doomed after Michigan”

  1. offkilter Says:
    August 19th, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    I like gordon, but he made a mountain over a mole hill. Drivers go low and slide back in line all the time. Its called racing and gordon should try it a little more instead of riding around while hoping and waiting on clean air on the big aero tracks.

  2. Tony Geinzer Says:
    August 19th, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    What is not good is NASCAR badly needs new heroes and Jeff Gordon has a hard time comprehending his end of his career and I think it is getting more and more difficult without new drivers,Rich.

  3. Al Says:
    August 20th, 2012 at 7:50 am

    Jeff is The all time whiner as in do as I say not as I do. Many may not know it but Jeff is the reason for the yellow line rule at the plate tracks. Seems he went below the yellow line and shot up the race track in front of Rusty I think it was at Daytona and darn near wrecked the field. Rusty went nuts verbally calling Jeff stupid. And NASCAR responded with the yellow line rule. This is not the first time Jeff has blasted one of his team mates.

  4. dawg Says:
    August 20th, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Another example of a driver who wants to ride, being angered by another who wants to race?

    Some of these guys had better remember where the big money they get comes from, & more importantly, why.

    I can well understand Jeff’s frustration, given his current situation, but I think this anger was misplaced.

  5. Bill B Says:
    August 20th, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    I understand the part about his Chase hopes but merchandise? Are you insinuating that all the Jr fans (that don’t buy Gordon stuff to begin with) are going to boycott buying Jeff Gordon merchandise? Or are we just talking about him missing out on the bump in sales for missing the chase?
    He may have good company. Either Kyle Busch or Carl Edwards is probably going to miss it too (and maybe both of them).