Skip to content

Gordon’s crew chief: 24 team more confident after Brickyard win

Jul 30, 2014, 1:14 PM EDT

Sprint All-Star Race - Practice Getty Images

As you’d expect, spirits are high in the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports camp after Jeff Gordon’s win on Sunday in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis.

To Gordon’s crew chief, Alan Gustafson (pictured, right), that confidence has been building within the team since their first win of the year back in May at Kansas.

But the Indy win has put them on a new level of assurance in what they can do.

“If you look at Kansas, we were good – probably a push to the 4 car [Kevin Harvick], we were about even with him,” Gustafson recalled today in a NASCAR teleconference. “We ended up getting an advantage on a pit stop and ended up winning the race. He was coming hard there at the end.

“But I think [with] Indianapolis, we were the best car and were able to execute all day and win the race. That gives us confidence and that gives us, you know, I don’t want to say added incentive, but just an added feel of ability and confidence in our ability, I guess I should say, in what we can do moving forward – maybe a little bit more than what Kansas did.”

With the Indy win, Gordon is now among six drivers (Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano) that have officially clinched a Chase for the Sprint Cup berth with six regular season races left.

The consistency that had been missing for the 24 team in 2012 and 2013 has been recaptured, but must be maintained if they’re to keep progressing in this fall’s “new” Chase – which now features eliminations after every third race to set up a one-race, winner-take-all scenario between four drivers in the season finale.

Gustafson said NASCAR’s revamped post-season will be “unprecedented territory” for everyone involved, but is expecting that his team will likely have to encounter adversity that forces them to keep their heads.

“If something goes wrong, we have to have confidence in each other and belief in the team that we can overcome it and come back that next week,” he said.

“You could be in a situation where it comes down to one race to advance. You could be in a situation where you have to do it on points or have to do it by winning the race if you have some adversity the first couple races.

“I think you have to be able to bounce back and believe in what you’re doing.”

Gustafson also gave a sorta-take on the suspension of Denny Hamlin‘s crew chief, Darian Grubb, who will be out for the next six races and was fined $125,000 after issues were found with rear block-off plates on Hamlin’s car following Sunday’s race.

While saying he didn’t know enough information to really comment on the situation, Gustafson said the severity of NASCAR’s penalties against JGR caught his attention.

As for those who think the penalties were toothless since Hamlin’s likely to make the Chase anyway thanks to his win at Talladega, he believed that such a line of thinking was foolish.

“This is my livelihood. It’s Darian’s livelihood. I can’t imagine being told you can’t do it for six weeks, how you have to handle that, deal with it, what that creates,” he said.

“Fortunately for me, I’ve never had to go through that. I don’t want to ever have to go through that. I think at the end of the day, people’s livelihoods are at stake.

“This is how we make our living. This is our lives, what we put a huge amount of effort into. To say that’s insignificant, I definitely disagree with that.”

Latest Posts
  1. Red Bull GRC: Layout, entry list set for L.A. doubleheader

    Sep 16, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

    RedBullGRCLA

    The nine-turn Port of Los Angeles circuit will feature the longest joker of the 2014 GRC season.

  2. FIA clarifies new Formula One team radio restrictions

    Sep 16, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT

    Christian Horner AP

    Teams now know what radio messages can and cannot be made heading into this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.

  3. WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA has the latest on Tony Stewart saga at 5 p.m. ET

    Sep 16, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT

    Federated Auto Parts 400 - Practice Getty Images

    Also coming up today: What’s more important in winning a Sprint Cup title: Experience or Drive?; rookie phenom Kyle Larson on dealing with the hype; NASCAR pioneer Wendell Scott to be honored next month.

  4. IndyCar’s Mikhail Aleshin released from Indianapolis hospital

    Sep 16, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    Mikhail Aleshin AP

    The Russian driver will continue his rehab work in Indy after sustaining multiple injuries in a practice crash on Aug. 29 at Auto Club Speedway.

  5. DA will submit evidence from Tony Stewart/Kevin Ward Jr. case to grand jury

    Sep 16, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT

    Tony Stewart AP

    The three-time NASCAR champion responds that he intends to “continue to provide my full cooperation.”

  6. OAK set for three of last four FIA WEC races

    Sep 16, 2014, 2:45 PM EDT

    Le Mans 24h Race Getty Images

    OAK Racing to return to FIA WEC for three of last four races.

  7. NASCAR: Hall of Fame inductee Wendell Scott to be honored next month at M’Ville

    Sep 16, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    Credit: Front Row Motorsports Credit: Front Row Motorsports

    Sprint Cup driver David Ragan and Camping World Truck Series driver Darrell Wallace Jr. will sport special paint schemes honoring Scott during the Martinsville Chase weekend in October.

  8. PWC: 25th Anniversary and Season Recap Videos (VIDEO)

    Sep 16, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    WC

    Videos from the Pirelli World Challenge championship celebration highlight 25 years, and the 25th year (2014) of the championship.

  9. Everything you need to know about the 2014 Chasers at New Hampshire

    Sep 16, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    SYLVANIA 300 Getty Images

    All the notes and numbers to keep in mind as NASCAR enters the second race of the Chase’s Challenger Round.

  10. Australian GP may have a new contract, but it also posted a record loss in 2014

    Sep 16, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    Australian F1 Grand Prix - Practice Getty Images

    Reports from Australia peg the season-opening race having posted an A$60 million loss in 2014.

  11. IndyCar: CFH to make major team announcement on Wednesday

    Sep 16, 2014, 12:25 PM EDT

    CFHlogo

    CFH Racing reveals logo and will reveal a part of its 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series program on Wednesday.

  12. Big weekend for Chevy upcoming in Austin

    Sep 16, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

    CorvetteCOTApre Getty Images

    Corvette Racing and Corvette DP teams look for Austin win encore this weekend.

  13. Renault’s Taffin: Fuel consumption could well be an issue in Singapore

    Sep 16, 2014, 11:15 AM EDT

    Lotus F1 Formula One driver Grosjean drives in the pit lane during the qualifying session of the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix Getty Images

    Expect the 100 kg fuel limit to enter the equation this weekend, says Renault’s head of track operations.

  14. Perez seeks to continue Singapore points streak this weekend

    Sep 16, 2014, 10:28 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain Getty Images

    Sergio Perez looks to go 4-4 in Singapore scores.

  15. Michael Waltrip premieres to less than critical acclaim on “Dancing with the Stars”

    Sep 16, 2014, 9:52 AM EDT

    MWslaterdance1 Getty Images

    Michael Waltrip and partner Emma Slater look to avoid being eliminated after first dance effort on DWTS.

  16. Tony Stewart awaits District Attorney’s review of Kevin Ward Jr. case

    Sep 15, 2014, 10:54 PM EDT

    tony stewart chicagoland 2014 Getty Images

    Tony Stewart is expected to learn later this week if he will not face charges or may be indicted in last month’s Kevin Ward Jr. tragedy. A noted attorney with extensive experience in death and catastrophic injury cases explained to MST the legal process in Stewart’s case.

  17. NASCAR America (video): Aric Almirola needs a good showing in New Hampshire

    Sep 15, 2014, 9:36 PM EDT

    Aric Almirola Chicagoland 2014 Getty Images

    In his first-ever race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Aric Almirola suffered a blown engine at Chicagoland Speedway for the first time in his three-year career.

  18. NASCAR America (video): Dale Jr., Jimmie Johnson struggle in first Chase race

    Sep 15, 2014, 9:31 PM EDT

    jj dale jr. 2014 Getty Images

    On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, we recap how Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson struggled in the first race of the Chase.

  19. WATCH LIVE: NASCAR America at 7 pm ET — Chase race recap, RPM’s heartbreak, Ganassi’s drivers

    Sep 15, 2014, 4:01 PM EDT

    140915-NASCAR-AMERICA

    Monday’s edition of NASCAR America recaps all the highs and lows of Sunday’s opening race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, from Brad Keselowski’s win to Aric Almirola’s heartbreak.

  20. Great piece from Indy Star: John Paul Jr. keeps fighting

    Sep 15, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT

    Indycar logo

    John Paul Jr. keeps fighting despite Huntington’s disease.

Video from NASCAR America

Johnson's quest for a record 7th title
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. J. Johnson (1571)
  2. K. Busch (1541)
  3. J. Gordon (1342)
  4. J. Logano (1243)
  5. B. Keselowski (1237)