Jeff Gordon clearly had a car on Sunday that could contend for the win at Dover (Del.) International Speedway and you could hear the disappointment in his voice when he described afterwards how another chance at a victory slipped away.
Gordon spoke to members of the media immediately after the race:
Gordon: The fastest car doesn’t always win the race. And we’re sitting here in 13th or whatever; it’s silly.
Q: AS BAD AS YOUR MISFORTUNE WAS, IT SEEMED LIKE IT WAS GOING TO WORK OUT AND YOU WOULD BENEFIT FROM IT.
Gordon: Until that debris caution? Yeah, I can’t wait to see that debris on TV. I’d like to see it because I certainly never saw it. I’m not going to make any comments until I see what they’re reasoning for it was. I don’t know who you blame if there really wasn’t much out there because all the media has been talking about all week long is oh, there’s no cautions, there’s no cautions. It used to be debris cautions. So, who do you blame that on?
Q: IS IT FRUSTRATING BECAUSE YOU WERE IN THE LEAD AND THEN YOU HAD THE TIRE PROBLEM AND YOU WERE MAKING YOUR WAY BACK?
Gordon: Ultimately, we put ourselves in this position to get his finish. So, that’s very frustrating. We’ve had things out of our control this year. And I’m not really sure what happened. But obviously something happened. And then I don’t know. I don’t know what happened. But we definitely had a loose left rear. It didn’t go on right to begin with and the left-rear tire-changer knew that. And so when I started to complain about it, we knew that there might be an issue there and there was. So, in some ways we got fortunate today. I could have stayed out there and wrecked because it wasn’t really vibrating. It was getting real loose.
Q: WERE RESTARTS AS CRITICAL AS THEY LOOKED?
Gordon: You know, it was the greasiest restarts that I’ve ever felt here. There was just zero-grip for the first three, four, or five laps. So you really couldn’t even race one another on a restart because you were so out of control. And there’s a lot of rubber laid down on the race track and then the way the rubber on the tires matched up to it after you got going there was horrendous. Other than that, the tire was awesome. I really liked it. We ran great with it and the restarts were definitely hairy.
Q: YOU’VE HAD SO MANY FRUSTRATING MOMENTS THIS SEASON. DOES THIS ONE TAKE THE CAKE? OR HAVE YOU JUST HAD SO MUCH CAKE THAT IT’S ALL THE SAME?
Gordon: It’s always more frustrating when you’ve got a car that can win; and you show it by going up there and taking the lead. We don’t care about finishing top 15 or top 10 right now. That does nothing for us. We need wins.