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Chase Blues: Gordon Wrecks, Edwards Explodes At Texas

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, November 3 2013

Jeff Gordon's Chase hopes took big hit at TMS. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Brian Lawdermilk)

It appears that Jeff Gordon’s pursuit of a fifth career Sprint Cup championship is over for the time being.

Also over is Carl Edwards’ bid to win his first championship.

Gordon, who had moved to third in this year’s Chase with a victory last weekend in Martinsville, wrecked early in Sunday’s event at Texas Motor Speedway.

The trouble arose on lap 75 when Gordon’s car suddenly went out of control.

Gordon said he was not sure what happened.

“I just know that the left front went down as I was going down the front straightaway,” he said. “I felt it before I got there, and I just couldn’t get it slowed down enough. I don’t know; the wind was so strong that the car was doing funky things down the straightaways. I don’t know if that was a slow leak, or if it just went all of a sudden. Our car just didn’t take off very good, but boy was it strong on the long runs. We just needed to get some better track position; get on the inside on those restarts, and we actually had a really, really good race car.”

Gordon had started the race 27 points behind Chase co-leaders Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth. After Sunday’s race at TMS, just two races will remain – at Phoenix next weekend and then in Homestead, Fla. the following week.

“I did everything I could to slow it down,” he said. “I even had time to come on the radio and say ‘Ut oh’. Well, I might have not said that, I said something else. I knew I was going to hit the wall. It is so unfortunate. This Drive to End Hunger No. 24 team has done such an amazing job. I am so proud of them to get us where we are. You just can’t have things like this happen if you are going to make a run at a championship or battle with those guys. We had a great race car. We just didn’t take off good on the restarts, but once we got going by eight to 10 laps into it, boy were we really strong.”

The plan now?

“This is definitely going to hurt,” Gordon said. “We just get what we can out of this day and go on to Phoenix.”

Edwards, who started the race from the pole, suffered an engine failure.

“I think a valve spring broke and now they can’t get the spark plug out or anything so it beat up that cylinder pretty bad,” Edwards said. “We don’t usually have a lot of engine trouble. Doug Yates and the guys at Roush Yates Engines build great engines.

“We had such a great weekend going. The car, during the middle part of the race we were struggling but we were starting to get it worked out. Aflac has coverage for just about everything but I don’t think they cover sick engines which is too bad. We will just go on to Phoenix and hopefully get another win there and go to Homestead. We gotta get in the top-10 so we can go to Vegas one way or another.”

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, November 3 2013
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