Frustrating Season Continues for Gordon
By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone on June 16, 2013 | 2:30 P.M. EST
"I tell you these moments when they add up they really can be frustrating." (Photo: Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, Mich. - Jeff Gordon’s challenging season continued Sunday in the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
Gordon started 29th and was knocked out of competition for a win nearly at the drop of the green flag. Bobby Labonte spun and Gordon had nowhere to go but into the side of the Phoenix Racing Chevrolet causing heavy damage to the Hendrick Motorsports Chevy.
“It was just such a slow spin that I didn’t know which way he was going to go, so I had to guess,” Gordon explained. “I tried to go around him on the outside and that was not the right way. I don’t know if I would have missed him even if I went to the inside.”
Gordon, who was the first driver to qualify in Friday’s session, was forced to start back in the pack on Sunday and he believes that put him into the potential precarious spot.
“You feel for the guys that are working so hard,” he said. “There are some guys that are doing their job perfectly and things are out of their control and they don’t deserve this. There are other guys that like myself, we contribute to being back there starting 29th. That is something we have to do better. I was really happy with the way the car was running. I’m happy with the way this team is sticking together, but boy I tell you these moments when they add up they really can be frustrating.”
Sunday’s incident was the latest in a series of challenges Gordon has faced as the season hits the midway point. Although he came into Michigan 11th in the Sprint Cup Series point standings, Gordon admitted it has been a struggle in recent weeks.
“It’s unfortunate this season we are having is just unbelievable to me,” said Gordon. “We are at times struggling to get the speed then when we get the speed we struggle to finish because of stuff like this. I thought we were being tested last year, boy we are really being tested this year.”
So Gordon has no choice but to try and put Sunday’s disappointment in the rear view mirror and head to next week’s first road course race of the season in Sonoma. But the veteran driver is being pushed to his limit.
“I’m a pretty patient person, but it’s testing my frustration level and my confidence that is the biggest thing,” said Gordon. “We all know how big confidence is in this sport, any sport really. I don’t want to see the team get down and I don’t want to see myself get down. I have a lot of fight in me and so does this team. I’m looking forward to going to Sonoma.”
Gordon returned to the track and finished 39th, which dropped him to 16th in the standings.