Gordon not down after disappointing day Brett Borden DOVER, Del. (May 31, 1998) When you lead all but 25 laps of a 400-lap race but don't bring home the trophy, you're going to feel like kicking the dog, right? Well, if Jeff Gordon was...
Gordon not down after disappointing day Brett Borden
DOVER, Del. (May 31, 1998) When you lead all but 25 laps of a 400-lap race but don't bring home the trophy, you're going to feel like kicking the dog, right?
Well, if Jeff Gordon was upset after dominating but not delivering a victory in the MBNA Platinum 400 at Dover Downs International Speedway Sunday, he sure didn't let it show.
Gordon controlled the race, but came up short at the end when he had to pit with eight laps left for fuel.
"We're pretty happy," said Gordon, who still leads the NASCAR Winston Cup Series standings by 47 points over Jeremy Mayfield. "It's definitely not a disappointing finish. I'm disappointed we didn't win because I felt like we had the car to beat. We dominated all day long, but that doesn't give you the right to pull into Victory Lane. You've still got to have everything going your way and have everything work out just right."
It was the second time in three weeks that fuel mileage played the deciding role in keeping Gordon out of Victory Lane. On May 16 Gordon was dominating The Winston at Charlotte Motor Speedway when he ran out of fuel with one lap to go. With points on the line, crew chief Ray Evernham wasn't about to let that happen again.
"You can't jeopardize a top-five finish," Gordon said. "Every position is so important. It would have been real nice to have won today, but we've got points for leading the most laps and that was a plus. Ray is always good at making the calls and I just try to drive the wheels off of it. I think we just couldn't go that far."
Gordon now has four straight top-fives, and five consecutive top-10s. By stringing performances like that together, he has put himself in great position to win a third NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship in four years.
He struggled early in the year, finishing 16th or worse in three of the season's first four races. Just three races ago, after Talladega, he found himself fifth in the standings.
"You can't complain with a third-place finish," Gordon said. "I think more than anything this gives us confidence and momentum for the rest of the season. When I look back at some of our finishes early in the season, we struggled at a few places. It seems like we're really getting our act together right now. I'm real excited"
Source: NASCAR Online