Allen Lessels' Motor Sports: Gordon faces same challenge
Last year at this same time, in fact.
What NASCAR calls its regular season is down to four races, starting this weekend at Michigan International Speedway, before the Chase to the Sprint Cup Championship kicks off on Sept. 15.
At the moment, Gordon is 13th in points. He's on the outside looking in at the Chase, as he was last year with four races to go.
He was 16th in points after Michigan last year with three races to go and with a third-place finish at Bristol and second at Atlanta, he moved up to 13th — still on the outside but knocking aggressively on the door — going into the last race before the Chase at Richmond.
"We had a lot of ups and downs in that race," Gordon said. "It just tells us you can never give up and that's what I think we've learned from that on how we approach this weekend and the next several weekends. And the same thing if we make it in the Chase.
Earnhardt is sixth in points, but does not have a win this season. That would become a problem if he dropped out of the top 10 in points.
He was 10th in the Camping World RV Sales 301 at NHMS on July 14 and had climbed up to ninth in points with seventh and second-place finishes going into Watkins Glen.
But he crashed there, finished 36th and tumbled back down the standings.Kurt Busch is 13 points in front of him and, like Gordon, does not have a win. Kahne is between them with the two wins. Ryan Newman is five points behind Gordon and does have a win. Jamie McMurray is in 15th, 10 points behind Gordon, and he also has a win.
"Our chances are as good as anybody that we're around," he said. "It's hard to get yourself excited about gaining moment and to get confidence in things starting to go your way, because it seems like every time we do get things to go our way, something disrupts that. I hope over the next four or five weeks we can put it together and kind of start over."
After Michigan on Sunday, the Sprint Cup series moves to Bristol Aug. 24, Atlanta on Sept. 1 and Richmond on Sept. 7. ... The Sylvania 300 is set for Spt. 22 at NHMS.
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