Involved in Two Multi-Car Accidents, Gordon Still Finishes 11th at Talladega
"I kind of survived (that crash)."
"It's not my day. I spun in the grass to miss the wreck and tore the nose off the car."
"I almost got a top-10."
After being involved in two multi-car accidents during Sunday's Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway and going one lap down, Jeff Gordon was a little surprised after his 11th-place finish. David Ragan won his second career event while Gordon's finish kept him 14th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings.
Gordon, who started ninth, was running seventh on lap 42 when the day's first multi-car accident was triggered by contact between Kyle Busch's car and Kasey Kahne's Chevy. Two cars collided with the nose of Gordon's Chevy SS during the melee.
"I kind of survived," Gordon said over the team radio. "I do have front end damage, though."
Gordon stopped six times during the ensuing caution so the No. 24 team could repair the nose, but the cosmetic damage hurt the car's aerodynamics too much and Gordon lost the draft once the race restarted. Although he led a lap during a round of green-flag pit stops at lap 91, Gordon ultimately lost a lap when the lead pack drafted past him 10 laps later.
At lap 125, the race was stopped for more than three hours due to rain with Gordon scored 28th. Once the race restarted at 6 p.m. CDT, a little fortune did go his way. When a caution waved on lap 173, the four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion was the recipient of the "lucky dog" free pass onto the lead lap.
After stopping for tires and fuel, Gordon restarted 25th with 10 laps to go. But as the field entered turn 3 on lap 182, another wreck ignited. Gordon moved to the apron to miss the carnage, but the splitter of the nose dug into the wet grass.
"It's just not my day," Gordon said as he limped around to the pits. "I spun in the grass to miss the wreck and tore the nose off the car."
After more repairs, Gordon restarted 15th with only two laps to go. As darkness came over the track, Gordon battled three- and four-wide to move up four spots before the race ended.
"I almost got a top-10 (finish)," Gordon said as he surveyed the heavy damage to the nose of his No. 24 Chevrolet. "Wow."
"I didn't think we had anything going our way today. To finish that well with a nose that heavily damaged is amazing."
Next Saturday night, Gordon will drive the No. 24 Cromax® Pro Chevrolet when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visits Darlington Raceway for the Bojangles' Southern 500. FOX Sports and MRN Radio will broadcast the 6:45 p.m. EDT race live.
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