NASCAR's 'Chase for the Championship' looks blander than anticipated at the beginning of the season; surely someone in the NASCAR marketing department is tearing their hair out over both of NASCAR's biggest stars missing the 'Chase'. Dale ...
NASCAR's 'Chase for the Championship' looks blander than anticipated at the beginning of the season; surely someone in the NASCAR marketing department is tearing their hair out over both of NASCAR's biggest stars missing the 'Chase'.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was eliminated last week at Fontana, and Jeff Gordon stood as the lone hope of 'star property' making the top ten, but Richmond was just not his night. Gordon's car never seemed to come alive and on lap 213 all hopes of making the championship field went up in smoke.
Gordon hit the wall tearing up the No. 24 Chevy, he finished 30th and fell to 12th in points.
"It was a long night," commented Gordon. "It was a long season. I can't tell you how proud I am of Robbie Loomis and this entire team. To go through what we've been through, and the attitude and effort that's been put out by those guys was second to none.
"Certainly, our performances are not related to the amount of effort that's been put into it. We have to put it all behind us and not worry about the points, and go out and try to fix our race cars and fix our race team, and try and put us in position to challenge for a championship next year."
A promising season opening win at the Daytona 500 positioned the four-time champion to make his 'drive for five in 2005'. Inconsistency and bad luck, however, plagued Gordon.
"The Daytona 500 doesn't guarantee you anything," Gordon mused. "You never know how your season is going to go. I thought we were going to do much better than we did."
Even three victories this year could not balance out eight finishes of 30th or worse.
"I think it was a combination of some bad luck that turned into some bad runs that kind of broke the confidence of all of us as well as the momentum," explained Gordon. "I think we're trying to find something and experiment with things and we're not finding them.
"We're just not finding the ingredient that it takes to be fast and compete for wins and top fives and go out there and be consistent.
Gordon and crew chief Robbie Loomis announced over the weekend that it would be unlikely that Loomis would return in that capacity next season.
"The challenge is getting us ready for next season," said Gordon. "I don't really care where we end up in points now. It's all about getting ourselves into position to get things turned around.we certainly don't want to be in the position we are in now."