Sunday, July 29, 2012

Gordon not giving up on Chase hopes (

By Jerry Bonkowski
INDIANAPOLIS -- No one has to tell Jeff Gordon what he has to do. He's well aware that he needs to win at least two of the next seven races, a stretch that begins with Sunday's Brickyard 400 – and that still may not be enough to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Should Gordon miss the Chase for the Sprint Cup, it would be for just the second time in the Chase's nine-year history.
The four-time Sprint Cup champion has struggled miserably in 2012. He comes into Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway ranked 17th, 183 points behind series leader Matt Kenseth and 79 points out of the top 10.
That's why so many observers have been pointing at Sunday's 19th renewal of the Brickyard as a make-or-break weekend for the driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet. The fans know it, the media and competitors know it, and no one knows how important it is more than Gordon.
"Obviously our season hasn’t gone the way that we had hoped it would," Gordon said. "We’ve shown a lot of speed. We’re capable of leading laps, and we just haven’t come up with the results. … These next several weeks are obviously crucial for us. You’ve got Indianapolis and we’ve got a bunch of tracks coming up that we’re definitely capable of winning at. And we know that we’re going to have to win at those in order to get ourselves in the championship Chase."
If he were to hand-pick a spot to kick off his rally to make the Chase, Gordon could choose no better spot than Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where he has become the example for everyone else to follow.
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