Gordon: 'Rather these things happen now' to learn for Chase
By Gray Caldwell
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y.— A little more than halfway through Sunday's race at Watkins Glen (New York) International, Jeff Gordon was in great position.
On Saturday, he had earned the pole during qualifying. On Sunday, he made that count, leading the first 29 laps of the event in the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS.
After a green-flag pit stop, he worked his way back to second and was chasing down first place.
"Everything was going along really well," Gordon said. "Our Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet was strong. I feel like we were in control there when we were out front. We got a little bit behind on the pit stop sequence, but we were coming back."
On Lap 51, Gordon's day changed.
"The car just lost power," Hendrick Motorsports Owner Rick Hendrick said.
The No. 24 Chevrolet SS had to be pushed toward his pit stall and ultimately went four laps down.
Gordon was able to return to the track and was scored 34th.
"I was just having a blast out there," he said. "It’s just great to be that competitive here at Watkins Glen again and I would rather these things happen now so we can determine what caused it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Because you can’t have those kinds of things happen once this Chase starts.”