Jeff Gordon started the season with a mission. He wanted to get his fifth championship after 14 years of trying and retire from NASCAR. Later in the season we would find out that he wasn’t really retiring from NASCAR but retiring from driving in NASCAR. Gordon will be in in the broadcast booth for Fox Sports as a driver analyst when the season begins again at Daytona in 2016.
The regular season has not gone the way he wanted it to. He has not won a single race where at this point in the season last year he had won three. It is not like he didn’t race well. He was running up near the front just about every week. He posted two top five finishes and thirteen top ten finishes on his way to finishing 13th in points and making the Chase for the Sprint Cup for his last time.
This will be the second time the new Chase for the Sprint Cup format has been used. There are three rounds of three races each with the elimination of four drivers at the end of each round. The fourth and final round is a one race showdown at the season finale at the Homestead Miami Speedway; Four drivers racing for the win and the Championship.
Last year Jeff Gordon was eliminated in the third round, the Eliminator Round, of the Chase. He was not able contend for the Championship in the fourth and final round.
That is the beauty of this new Chase Format. It is not how Jeff Gordon got there it is what he does with it. Gordon has 2000 points to start at Chicagoland Speedway, 13 points below the leaders. If he doesn’t step it up and possibly win one of the first three races beginning here, he may be one of the first four cars to be eliminated from the Chase.
“We’re behind. We know that. Those guys are unbelievable. But there’s a lot of ways to make it to Homestead and there’s a lot that can happen and we’re working as hard as anybody to try to see what we can do better, learn from our competitors, and try to catch up, but we’re definitely playing catch-up.” Gordon added, “I think Junior is probably the best in our stable right now and he proved that again tonight, but we work hard together to try to improve for each of us, and if we continue to do that, we’ll make gains. There was a lot of pressure in this final season to make that Chase, so I’m glad we got that done.”
If you cannot get to Chicagoland Speedway for the myAFibRisk.com 400 it will be broadcast on NBCSN on Sunday September 20th starting at 3 PM ET.
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