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Jeff Gordon in the wall early at Texas

Nov 3, 2013, 4:18 PM EST

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Trouble has struck for Jeff Gordon, who entered today’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway third in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. On Lap 74, Gordon slid up Turn 2 and hit the wall, inflicting significant damage to the right side of his No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

Gordon had kept his title hopes alive with a victory last weekend at Martinsville Speedway, but his bid for a fifth Sprint Cup could be done for now as his team continues to work in the garage to fix the damaged No. 24. He was running 12th at the time of the crash.

“I just know the left front [tire] went down as I was going down the front straightaway,” Gordon told ESPN. “I felt it before I got there, but I couldn’t get it slowed down enough. I don’t know – the wind was so strong that the car was doing funky things down the straightaway, so I don’t know if that was a slow leak or if it just went all of a sudden.”

Gordon felt that his car, while not good off restarts, was very strong on the long runs prior to the crash. But now, he’ll have to focus on trying to salvage the afternoon.

“This is definitely gonna hurt and we just need to get what we can out of this day and go on to Phoenix,” Gordon said.

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