If there ever was a driver that suffered with NASCAR’s COT car, it was Jeff Gordon. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the stats for the 41 year old driver of the Dupont Chevrolet since the beginning of the 2008 season. Of the 87 career wins for Gordon, and the four Cup Championships, only six wins have come since NASCAR mandated the COT for 2008. And of course, no championships. He had six wins in 2007 which was a blend of the COT, and the old Monte Carlo.
If the new 6th Generation car is anything like the old Monte Carlo, I expect Gordon to have a stellar year in 2013. The speed at which he and crew chief, Alan Gustafson can get a handle on the new car will go a long way in determining how well Jeff Does next season. With the experience level at Hendrick Motor Sports, you can be sure the stable of all stars will be sharing notes to get everyone off the ground quickly.
I have been a huge Jeff Gordon fan since Ernie Irvan retired with concussion problems during the 1999 season, but was disappointed that he elected to retaliate against Clint Bowyer during the chase. I think Bowyer would have had a chance at Homestead to win the title had he not lost so many points after the wreck in Phoenix. I can only hope he finds a way to make peace with himself and Bowyer before next season begins.
Jeff Gordon, along with teammate Kasey Kahne dug themselves into gigantic holes last season, and both were lucky to make the chase. After a 40th place finish at Daytona, Gordon put together a strong second half of the season to make the chase on wins, barley edging out Kyle Busch. He hung around the top, but a 14th at Texas and a 30th at Phoenix put the final nails in the coffin. The win at Homestead was just too little too late for a team that had gotten in the chase with smoke and mirrors.
As the the senior member of the Hendrick drivers, I am looking for Jeff Gordon to be very competitive in 2013. I know he would like to win at least one more championship, but the clock is running, and as you and I know, it waits for no one. Gordon celebrated his 20th anniversary in Winston/Nextel/Sprint Cup this year, and I think he is going to have one of his best in 2013. he should hit the ground running during speed weeks, and be in contention by the time we get to Miami in November. If not a championship in 2013, soon.
Everyone have a safe and Happy Holiday. We’ll see you on the back stretch.
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