Bad tire sends Jeff Gordon out of race and out of Chase picture

Posted Sunday, Nov. 03, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Jeff Gordon knew he’d need something bad to happen to the leaders for him to have a chance.

The bad thing happened to him.

He lost his left front tire on the front straightaway 75 laps into the race, and he went to the garage.

“The wind was so strong, it was doing funky things down the straightaway,” he told the ESPN broadcast. “So I don’t know if it happened slowly or quickly.”

Gordon, who entered the race third in the Chase standings, said his No. 24 Chevrolet was slow to get going but good in the long runs.

“I think we really could make some ground up. But it doesn’t matter now,” he said. “We just have to put this one behind us and go race hard the next two weeks.”

Gordon is sixth in the standings, 69 points behind the leader, after entering 27 points behind.

He and Kevin Harvick were the closest thing to a challenge in the standings for Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth, but now it is even more of a two-man race. Kevin Harvick went from 28 points back to 40.

Pole-sitter out

Engine failure knocked pole-sitter Carl Edwards out of the race on Lap 188.

“We had such a great weekend going,” he said. “During the middle part of the race, we were struggling, but we were starting to get it worked out.”

Edwards was out of the championship picture to begin with, but he was optimistic about his chances at TMS, where he is a three-time winner.

“Most fun I’ve had in the car in a long time,” he told ESPN.

Only OK

Brad Keselowski, who started second and led 30 laps, said his day was only “OK” after he finished sixth.

“We were leading at one point and the yellow flag came, and we pitted and came out ninth, which ended our shot of being able to derail Jimmie, if there even was one,” he said. “His car was so much faster than the field. It was pretty embarrassing, to be quite honest.”

Keselowski came into the race off his first win of the season.

Windy talk

The wind appeared to be a factor for some of the drivers, but Joey Logano said it was no worse than it usually is.

“You usually get those big gusts and have those ‘oh …’ moments, because it comes out of nowhere,” he said. “I didn’t see this as being any more than normal. It was a pretty constant wind, so you know what you are dealing with.”

Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7407 Twitter: @calexmendez

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