Not the outcome the NASCAR icon was looking for.
Daytona Beach, Fla. - As Joey Logano captured his first ever Harley J. Earl Trophy, the biggest wreck of the day ensued behind them. One of the main drivers involved was Jeff Gordon, who said this would be his final 500.
Right now I’m a little bit sad this is my final Daytona 500, but I’m more upset we didn’t have a shot at winning there at the end.
Gordon was scored 33rd unofficially, driving his mangled car back to the pits. He was running in the middle, 11th at the time of the accident. Austin Dillon tagged the four-time series champion from behind, igniting the pile up.
Jeff Gordon post-race comments
Despite the accident, Gordon remained upbeat. "For some reason, I’m still smiling and enjoying every moment of it."
I’m not going to miss those final laps ... That was just crazy
"It is disappointing because things were going so well, especially that first half. That first half was amazing. I was enjoying that moment very, very much. Just being out front. Being in control of the race. I felt like we were just doing everything perfectly. The car was amazing. I knew it was going to be crucial to maintain that track position. That one restart I chose the outside and that line just didn't go. From that point on, we were just playing catch up."
"This was an amazing week and an amazing day. I am just in a different place that is so foreign to me, but so incredible. To just be taking it all in and enjoying every moment. Yeah, right now I’m a little bit sad this is my final Daytona 500, but I’m more upset we didn’t have a shot at winning there at the end."
"I’m not going to miss those final laps," he admitted. "That was just crazy, but certainly would have liked to have had a shot to win. If you are over there in Victory Lane it is awesome and you enjoy it. If you are not in Victory Lane, you are like ‘oh gosh when is that next restrictor plate race.”