NASCAR Bracketology: Champion

Jeff Gordon

Jeff Gordon survived a late challenge from Kyle Larson to win this year's NASCAR Bracketology title. (Photo: Getty Images)

Jeff Gordon suggested before the season that he would retire if he won the championship. Of course, he meant the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship. Even if he doesn’t win that title this year, he can claim a championship.

NASCAR Bracketology champion.

For those unfamiliar, I took the top 32 in driver points after last month’s Las Vegas race and seeded them in a tournament bracket. The driver who finished the best in each one-on-one matchup advanced.

The championship came down to Gordon vs. rookie Kyle Larson in Saturday night’s Bojangles’ Southern 500. Gordon ran near the front all race. It looked as if he would easily win the tournament, but a couple of late cautions and some bold moves helped Larson close the gap and nearly take the title.

Gordon claimed the crown by finishing seventh. Larson placed eighth.

Had Larson won it would have completed a remarkable tournament. Larson was the No. 23 seed.

He finished ahead of 10th-seeded Kyle Busch at Bristol in the opening round, bettered seventh-seeded Matt Kenseth at Auto Club Speedway, topped second-seeded Brad Keselowski at Martinsville Speedway to win the Dale Earnhardt Regional, and defeated third-seeded Jimmie Johnson at Texas to reach the title round.

Gordon, the David Pearson Regional champion, was steady in dispatching Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle, Brian Vickers and Denny Hamlin to reach the finals. 

 

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