By Pete Pistone
Jeff Gordon came into the Chase with as much momentum as anyone. Unfortunately things have not worked out in the playoffs so far for the Hendrick Motorsports driver who fell to tenth place in the standings and 47 points behind leader Carl Edwards after his exit from last Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.
But despite his now uphill challenge with six races to go, Gordon remains focused on the job at hand and refuses to throw in the towel until the bitter end.
“You don’t let it linger long," Gordon said of his engine failure at Kansas that resulted in a 34th place finish. "We have already moved on from that. We are here in Charlotte, just focused on this race; it doesn’t matter if we won that race in Kansas or if we had the disappointing finish that we did have. You have to start focusing on the next race and we have already done that you learn from it, you try to grow from it, you go to the next race and try to be even better.”
The rarity of a Hendrick Motorsports driver losing an engine made Gordon's exit last week a strange development to say the least. Gordon says he unfortunately saw it coming earlier in the race.
"Yea, we scuffed a piston in the number one cylinder," he said. "You know, it is always concerning when it happens, we saw some things at Kansas earlier in the year and it seems to be a little more related to that track. The throttle trace and the demand on the engines. Not as concerned about it here, and I know I have the best engine shop in the world to address it, they can react fast, and we feel good from here on out.”
So with nine drivers ahead of him in the standings, Gordon begins his try for a come back Saturday night in the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He refuses to wave the white flag and will approach the rest of the Chase with a positive attitude.
“Nothing changes right now," Gordon said. "Nothing changed for us. We go to the race track to win that is what we have been doing every weekend.
“Obviously the Chase has not gone the way we had hoped. We realize in order to win the championship, we have to win a bunch of races, and the way we approached that doesn’t change. If we are mathematically out of it, or when that deal happens we might change our approach, until then it will stay the same.”
|More NASCAR coverage|