Gordon Moving On Up

Jeff Gordon's move up the Winston Cup points standings continued as he posted a third place finish in the Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Though circumstances kept him from challenging Ryan Newman for the victory, Gordon moved from 10th to 6th in the series standings and gained 15 points on Matt Kenseth who posted a solid sixth place finish at Texas.

Gordon took the lead of the race from Kenseth with 100 laps remaining before coming onto pit road for a green flag pit stop. However, just two laps later the caution waved for Jimmy Spencer's spin. Gordon restarted in ninth at the tail end of the lead lap. He would make up the ground after another caution came out shortly after the restart. He moved up to fifth over the next 20 laps before Joe Nemechek slammed the turn three wall to bring out the day's final caution with 53 laps remaining.

Gordon came onto pit road in fifth and left in third place after a 13.1 second pit stop. He swapped third place with Jerry Nadeau on the restart before setting his sights on the lead. Gordon and Earnhardt Jr had four fresh tires while Newman elected to change just two on the previous caution flag.

Earnhardt Jr passed Newman for the top spot shortly after the restart but Newman kept the Budweiser Chevrolet in his sights. As the tires came up to temperature, Newman's Dodge hooked up to the track. With 11 laps remaining, Newman passed Earnhardt Jr for the race lead.

Gordon closed in on Earnhardt Jr for the runner-up spot and pulled alongside entering turn three on the final lap. The pair made slight contact coming to the checkered flag with Earnhardt Jr less than two-hundredths of a second ahead of Gordon at the line.

"It was a battle and we both had gotten tight," Gordon said. "I knew even if I got underneath him it was going to be difficult, and he made it pretty difficult on me. If we had been going for the win, I think we probably would've wrecked. But it was for second place and we both bumped and banged and had a little bit of fun. We had great pit stops today. Unfortunately the cautions just don't want to fall our way. One of these days they will and we'll win one."

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2003, Jeff Gordon

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