Gordon's Title Hopes Take a Hit

Jeff Gordon

“I was just going into (Turn) 1, I felt it go down. It’s a shame. This team has worked so hard to get us into this position. You can’t have things like this happen." (Photo: Getty Images)

FORT WORTH, Texas - A blown left-front tire all but ended Jeff Gordon’s title hopes Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.

Gordon’s tire went down and he hit the wall on Lap 73. He spent a significant time in the garage for repairs before returning briefly to finish 38th. A Goodyear official said it did not appear to be a wear problem and there were no obvious cuts in the tire.

Regardless, Gordon fell three spots to sixth in the season standings. He’s 69 points behind series leader Jimmie Johnson heading into this weekend’s race at Phoenix International Raceway.

“I don’t know if I ran over something or we just had a failure,’’ said Gordon, who entered the race third in points after his win last weekend at Martinsville Speedway. “I was just going into (Turn) 1, I felt it go down. It’s a shame. This team has worked so hard to get us into this position. You can’t have things like this happen.’’

TiresGordon said the tire had less than 10 laps on it before the incident.

“That’s what makes that one odd,’’ Gordon said in the garage. “That’s not what I would say a typical tire failure. I hope our situation was isolated. We could have run something over. It’s hard to say.’’

Gordon said that Hendrick Motorsports saw some tire issues on Kasey Kahne’s car in a test this past week at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

That situation and the excessive tire wear some teams had during Saturday’s Nationwide race at Texas led Gordon’s team to be careful with its setup.

“We were very conservative on camber, air pressure,’’ Gordon said. “With so much strain on these left front tires to make the cars work, it’s hard to say what really caused this. It doesn’t matter now. It happened. We’re going to take a huge hit in the points. All we can do is get back it out there and get as many points as we can.

“We have to put this behind us and go race hard the next two weeks.’’

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, Jeff Gordon

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