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Nov 19, 2012 - 05:17 PM
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Gordon Rebounds Back to Victory Lane
Posted by: BGerhart on Nov 19, 2012 - 05:17 PM
Feature Articles
Gordon Rebounds Back to Victory Lane


By Brad Gerhart

A week ago many in the NASCAR world believed that Jeff Gordon should not race in the Sunday Sprint Cup finale.

Now, Gordon not only raced, he won the Ford Ecoboost 400, the very first victory for team owner Rick Hendrick at Homestead


Instead of a race suspension, NASCAR officials deemed Gordon’s actions were more suitable to a probation until the end of the year and a 25 point deductible from this year’s season (not to mention a $100,000 file). Gordon himself still felt a bit ashamed of his actions. “I felt terrible about how I went about it and still regret the way I went about it but you know what, I can't take it back,” he said. “What we can do is look forward and race guys as hard and clean as we possibly can.”

 

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With next to nothing to lose Gordon went out and won his 87th Sprint Cup race and showed that he too could over come adversity and basically prove that last weeks antics were well out of character for the four-time series champion. “We played the strategy perfectly and had a really good car and, you know, it's just unbelievable to experience this,“ Gordon said. His DuPont Chevrolet team gambled a bit with the fuel mileage, but it paid off when the No.24 took over the lead on lap 254 and cruised to a 1.028 second lead over the No.15 car.

Interestingly enough Clint Bowyer finished behind Gordon in second. The race itself ran green for the last 105 laps, which allowed Gordon to distance himself between Gordon and his second win of the season. A yellow might have made things a little more interesting as payback might have been in order from Bowyer to Gordon from Phoenix, however, Bowyer clearly answered that question after the race with a stern “no, I wouldn't have took us both out.”

Bowyer edged out Jimmie Johnson for second in the final Cup standings by a mere one point. Johnson went to the garage with around 40 laps left in an attempt to repair an oil related issue, but the No.48 team was unable to bring the Lowe’s Chevrolet back onto the track before Gordon took the checkered flag on lap 2687. “I ran a handful of laps and then I could smell some oil,” Johnson said. “And when the gear failed, I mean, there was a lot of shaking in the car. I knew it was big and going to be fatal.”

This of course opened the door for Penske’s Brad Keselowski to drive cautiously around the 1.5 mile track for the remainder of the race to secure his and his team’s very first NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.

Hendrick Motorsports became the ninth team in Cup history to reach at least 10 wins in a single season, with all four of their drivers making a trip to Victory Lane. Now one of NASCAR’s premiere teams has won at every active track on the circuit aside from the Kentucky Speedway. Perhaps they’ll be able to eliminate Kentucky in the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.

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