[media-credit name=”SpeedwayMedia.com” align=”alignright” width=”241″][/media-credit]Jeff Gordon finally caught a break for once in a race when he ran out of fuel coming off Turn 11. Crew Chief Alan Gustafson took the blame for the incident for failing to tell Gordon when to come down pit road. Gustafson’s call to come down was already too late of course because he was already out of fuel. Gordon was second at the time and fell back to as far as 15th. Gordon caught a couple more breaks with some late cautions which helped him move up to sixth.
Now, Gordon and his team is going to have to avoid mistakes like this in the future. They were dang lucky this time around to find pit road and not get hit. That would have definitely changed the outlook of the points, but he is beginning to find his stride. Kentucky is up next Saturday. Gordon was able to squeak out a Top 10 finish during its only event last year, but he struggled for a majority of the race. Will Gordon find his stride at Kentucky?
Gordon now sits 18th in the cup standings, but glimmers of hope are starting to emerge. Other race teams are starting to run into that same bad luck. Denny Hamlin was on fire at Michigan and got taken out by teammate Joey Logano today at Sonoma. Kyle Busch had three consecutive engine failures and topped it off by locking up the brakes and spinning out late with Paul Menard. That relegated Kyle to a 17th place finish. Menard finished 20th.
Taking a look at the points standings, we have 4 drivers with wins that are outside the Top 10. Kyle Busch and Ryan Newman would be the two wildcard drivers at this point while Joey Logano and Kasey Kahne are the other two. If Gordon wants to make the Chase, he must win a race or two at least. Even if he gets 1 victory, it’s unlikely he can reach the Top 5/Top 10 numbers that Busch has produced this season. Therefore, Gordon needs to win. Kentucky is unlikely, but look at New Hampshire! He was so dominant at that track last season. That will be where Gordon picks up his first win of 2012. I hope. The fans can only hope.