Skip to content

Jeff Gordon’s turnaround impressive since last year’s Watkins Glen crash

Aug 9, 2014, 2:09 PM EDT

Rewind to last year’s Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International. Jeff Gordon entered the afternoon winless in 2013 but in the Top 10 of the Sprint Cup standings.

But on Lap 14, Gordon bounced off the outside barrier in the esses before hitting the inside barrier on the backstretch.

The crash relegated him to a 36th place finish, knocked him out of the Top 10 in points, and helped keep him out of that year’s Chase until NASCAR put him into the postseason after the manipulation incident in the final regular season race at Richmond.

However, since that wreck, Gordon has been able to find the consistency necessary to finally capture the fifth Sprint Cup title that has eluded him for more than a decade.

In the remaining 14 races of the 2013 season, Gordon earned a win at Martinsville, three Top-5s and eight Top-10s. Barring his 38th-place finish at Texas in November, he finished no worse than 17th (Michigan) in that stretch and the Martinsville win put him in title contention with three races to go – until his crash at Texas took him out of it.

Gordon’s late-season run showed that a fifth championship was still a possibility, and in 2014, he’s made sure that possibility has grown larger with an additional two wins (Kansas and the Brickyard 400), seven Top-5s, and 15 Top-10s in 21 races.

Altogether, that’s three wins, ten Top-5s, 23 Top-10s and a strong average finish of 9.7 in the 35 races since his accident one year ago at the Glen.

This year, Gordon is comfortably locked into the Chase. He’s been the Sprint Cup championship leader since Pocono in June and has been either first or second in the championship since Texas in April.

And back problems aside, Gordon’s having fun running as competitively as he has been.

This afternoon during Sprint Cup qualifying at the Glen, he immediately shouted “Hell yeah, boys! Whoooo!” after he popped off the lap that would earn him the pole for tomorrow’s Cheez-It 355.

The difference between where he was at this time last year and right now is really remarkable.

Latest Posts
  1. NASCAR AMERICA: Analyzing the rule changes for 2015 (VIDEO)

    Sep 23, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT

    Jamie McMurray AP

    NASCAR’s Steve O’Donnell sits down with NBCSN’s Marty Snider to go over all the details.

  2. IndyCar: Helio, RHR, Pagenaud, Carpenter take part in tire test at IMS

    Sep 23, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT

    Credit: Chris Jones/INDYCAR Credit: Chris Jones/INDYCAR

    Pagenaud reveals that he’s made his decision on where he’ll drive in next year’s Verizon IndyCar Series championship.

  3. Rodolfo Gonzalez, ex-Marussia test driver, samples Coyne’s IndyCar

    Sep 23, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

    Caterham GP2 driver Gonzalez of Venezuela attends an official F1 test session at the Mugello race track Reuters

    Rodolfo Gonzalez tests for Dale Coyne Racing in IndyCar.

  4. NASCAR AMERICA Minute: A quiet start to Chase for Jimmie Johnson (VIDEO)

    Sep 23, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT

    Sylvania 300 - Qualifying Getty Images

    NASCAR AMERICA discusses how the defending Sprint Cup champion has been flying under the radar in the early stages of the postseason.

  5. Report: Grand jury now hearing testimony in Tony Stewart/Kevin Ward Jr. case

    Sep 23, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT

    NASCAR New Hampshire Auto Racing AP

    A local media report states that one of the drivers who raced with Stewart and Ward during the Aug. 9 race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park has been called to testify.

  6. WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA breaks down 2015 rules package at 5 p.m. ET

    Sep 23, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT

    Jimmie Johnson AP

    Coming up today: An interview with NASCAR executive VP Steve O’Donnell; Jeff Burton on what kind of racing the new rules package will produce; the New Hampshire edition of “Scan All 43″; and why is Jimmie Johnson driving a tank?

  7. NASCAR: Chase clinch scenarios for Sunday’s race at Dover

    Sep 23, 2014, 4:07 PM EDT

    Jimmie Johnson, your Dover winner from this past June, needs to finish 24th or better Sunday to move on to the Contender Round of the Chase. Photo: AP AP

    Where does everyone in the Chase besides Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano have to finish Sunday in order to go to the next round?

  8. IMSA’s points standings get shaken up in Texas

    Sep 23, 2014, 3:45 PM EDT

    CGRpostCOTA Getty Images

    Points shift after second-to-last IMSA weekend of 2014 in Austin.

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

    Sep 23, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

    (AP Photo/Nick Wass) AP

    All the notes and numbers to keep in mind going into Sunday’s Challenger Round finale.

  10. 2015 Sprint Cup rules to feature reduced testing, less horsepower

    Sep 23, 2014, 2:41 PM EDT

    Pocono 400 Getty Images

    NASCAR’s top series is set to experience multiple changes next season.

  11. Reports: Ryan Truex will not return to BK Racing after missing New Hampshire

    Sep 23, 2014, 2:15 PM EDT

    Toyota/Save Mart 350 - Qualifying Getty Images

    Truex has suffered eight DNFs in 2014 while driving BK’s No. 83 Toyota Camry.

  12. Report: Korea aiming for 2016 F1 return with night street race in Seoul

    Sep 23, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Korea - Race Getty Images

    Formula One dropped the Korean Grand Prix at Yeongam last year after several seasons of bad attendance and money loss.

  13. Martin Brundle delivers brilliant comeback to Christian Horner’s dig (VIDEO)

    Sep 23, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Singapore - Previews Getty Images

    Martin Brundle’s retort to Christian Horner a great bit of levity from Singapore.

  14. COTA: A circuit to behold from the passenger’s seat

    Sep 23, 2014, 11:26 AM EDT

    Photo: Tony DiZinno Photo: Tony DiZinno

    Not that we needed further evidence that Circuit of the Americas is awesome, but riding shotgun with Dindo Capello in Audi provides us said further evidence.

  15. Mike Conway sorting out 2015 open-wheel/sports car plans

    Sep 23, 2014, 10:38 AM EDT

    ConwayTOR2 Getty Images

    Mike Conway is operating from a position of strength as he looks to continue open-wheel/sports car balance into 2015.

  16. IndyCar driver presence returns for this year’s Petit Le Mans

    Sep 23, 2014, 9:48 AM EDT

    GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma - Day 3 Getty Images

    Dixon, Hunter-Reay, Briscoe, Bourdais set for Petit Le Mans appearances.

  17. NASCAR AMERICA: Team Penske pushing for incredible season (VIDEO)

    Sep 22, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT

    Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano AP

    They’ve already got the IndyCar title. But can Team Penske claim the Sprint Cup as well this season?

  18. NASCAR AMERICA: The evolution of Joey Logano (VIDEO)

    Sep 22, 2014, 7:30 PM EDT

    Sylvania 300 Getty Images

    It hasn’t always been easy for Logano since he broke into the Sprint Cup Series in 2009. But there’s no disputing that the kid once known as “Sliced Bread” (as in, greatest thing since) has grown up.

  19. NASCAR: Penske, Roush Fenway squads test at Texas Motor Speedway

    Sep 22, 2014, 6:45 PM EDT

    Credit: Texas Motor Speedway Credit: Texas Motor Speedway

    Two teams on the opposite ends of the Chase spectrum head for the Lone Star State.

  20. Red Bull GRC: Ken Block, Joni Wiman now the ones to beat in title race

    Sep 22, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

    GRCLogo

    A wild doubleheader in Los Angeles has left Block with an 18-point edge over Wiman as the series heads for Seattle.

Video from NASCAR America

The evolution of Joey Logano
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches