Jeff Gordon’s final race at The Brickyard didn’t go quite as planned, but it wasn’t enough to affect the veteran NASCAR driver’s cheery attitude. Rather than letting the fact that he’ll never get a sixth win at the 2.5 mile oval get to him, he’s turning his attention to the next race, the rest of the season and of course making the chase.
Gordon’s chances at taking the win Sunday night were ruined early on Lap 49. He was battling with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne along the back straight when Clint Bowyer lost control of his No. 15 Toyota and spun, taking Gordon with him. The wreck put Gordon into the wall and damaged his 3M Chevy significantly, relegating it to the garage for repairs.
“Right now I’m not thinking about this being my last Brickyard 400,” Gordon said post-race. “I’m not thinking about anything other than the race and the points and the rest of the season. We have a lot of racing still left to go. I think next year, when I am watching this race and I am not in the driver’s seat, then I probably will reflect more on it, and think about that but right now that is not really on my mind.”
The turn of events put Gordon in 42nd at the end of the race, finishing 54 laps down from leader Kyle Busch. The result was the 42 year old’s worst finish of the season and at this point in the year, is a finish he can’t afford to repeat. Despite this, Gordon remained positive, reflecting on his past successes at the storied venue.
“I’ve won this thing five times,” Gordon said. “I can’t be too greedy or too disappointed. It’s been an amazing career here.”