JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 AXALTA CHEVROLET SS FINISHED 26TH
TALK ABOUT THE CLOSING LAPS:
“We were in, we were out. We were in good position and bad position. Those last couple of laps were the most nerve-wracking laps of my life, so I’m glad they’re over.”
CAN YOU BREATHE EASIER NOW?
“If I never have to come back to Talladega, I’ll be fine with that. I’m just excited about our chances to get to Homestead, and those chances come in these next few races - Martinsville, Texas, Phoenix. Those are great tracks for us.”
WHAT DOES THIS ROUND SAY ABOUT YOUR TEAM?
“We ran great at Kansas and ran great at Charlotte. Today was not our shining moment. But our performance the last two races are what really got us in, and I’m very proud of that.”
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THIS DAY?
“I’m just mentally drained right now. It’s always tough racing here at Talladega trying to put yourself in position to win. But when you have that much on the line and you know that your championship hopes are right there in that final moment, it’s nerve racking. I’m proud of this team for the job they did. We had a great strategy. Unfortunately the caution hit us at the absolute worst time and put us behind there. We fought hard that last restart. The inside lane just didn’t go anywhere. I was just sitting there going backward and couldn’t do a thing. I’m just glad we made it. I can’t wait for Martinsville. I can’t wait for Texas. I can’t wait for Phoenix. All are great tracks for us. This team has done some amazing work this year. These next three are where we are really going to shine and show it.”
FROM THE HIGH OF YOU MAKING IT TO THE FACT THAT YOUR THREE TEAMMATES DID NOT MAKE IT. HOW DIFFICULT IS THAT FOR YOU AS A TEAM?
“Yeah, it’s very difficult. We knew that Jimmie (Johnson) and (Dale Earnhardt) Junior were in tough positions. But if anybody could win this race, either one of those guys could. I knew (Kasey Kahne) was going to race hard all day and he was in and out, in and out. I really thought he was going to make it, but I guess (Matt) Kenseth getting that late charge may have been the game changer there. It is very difficult. These are three guys that could be major factors in this championship. They are great teams, great drivers and friends of mine; I hate to see them not in there. But, we are going to try to make Hendrick proud and go out there and get ourselves to Homestead.”
I know it wasn't the finish we were hoping for today. But proud of #Team24 & their effort to move us on to the next round!— Jeff Gordon (@JeffGordonWeb) October 20, 2014