Pit Road Speeding Penalty Leads to 18th-Place Finish For Gordon at Charlotte
"It's just been one of those nights."
Jeff Gordon said that on the team radio after being told he would have to serve a drive-through penalty for exceeding pit road speed limit during a green-flag pit sequence. He lost a lap after serving the penalty -- a lap he was not able to make up -- and finished 18th. Clint Bowyer won the 334-lap event.
Gordon, who started 13th, battled a loose condition early in the event but was able to lead a lap -- and earn a bonus point -- during a round of green-flag pit stops at lap 84. Once pit stops were completed, Gordon was scored 12th.
But the loose condition returned, and crew chief Alan Gustafson called for major chassis adjustments during pits stops at lap 131, 168 and 218. The changes helped, but Gordon was forced to serve a penalty for speeding on pit road during the lap-218 stop. He returned to action one lap down in 18th just as a caution waved.
Unfortunately for Gordon and the No. 24 team, the race would run caution-free until the end and he was unable to gain the lap back before the checkered flag waved.
"The car was good on the second-to-last and last run," said Gordon, who fell three positions to ninth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points standings. "But the pit road speeding penalty really hurt us.
"We missed the setup at the beginning, but we worked on it and worked on it and had it driving good there at the end. We just couldn't catch a caution to get us back on the lead lap."
Next Sunday, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visits Kansas Speedway for the Hollywood Casino 400. ESPN and MRN Radio will broadcast the 2 p.m. EDT race live.
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