By admin | September 29, 2008
By Richard Allen
Jeff Gordon’s Chase for the Championship, and his season as a whole, have not been what the driver and his fans have come to expect.
The four time Sprint Cup champion had not really looked like a title contender over the first two Chase races. Finishes of 14th and 7th in Loudon and Dover left Gordon trailing Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson. His deficit was made worse by the fact that he had not yet won a race leading into the Chase and thus had no bonus points going into the playoff.
Going into this past weekend in Kansas it did not look as if Gordon’s prospects were to improve.
Gordon showed up at the track feeling very sick. His Hendrick Motorsports team went so far as to have Nationwide Series driver Brad Keselowski standing by during the Camping World 400, just in case their driver needed relief.
Not only did Gordon not need relief, he battled his way to a strong 4th place finish. Racing within the Top 5 most of the day, the “Rainbow Warrior” looked like his old self.
Unfortunately for Gordon, the top three drivers in the Chase standings are the very drivers who finished ahead of him in the race. Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards and a last lap pass by Greg Biffle caused Gordon to lose ground despite his gallant effort.
“I wish I’d have been a little healthier,” Gordon lamented. “I think I could have contributed to a little better finish.”
As for his strong run in Kansas, “I guess I need to be sick more often,” he said.
Gordon now stands 6th, 143 points behind leader Johnson.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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