May 13 2007

Jeff Gordon Wins 7th at Darlington, 3rd of the Year

Gordon wins 7th in Darlington
Another great race with the [tag]COT[/tag] car, even if I am a little biased there, Jeff won his 7th race at Darlington and 3rd so far this year, and he extended his points lead to 203 over Jimmie Johnson. Denny Hamlin was coming fast at the end but he ran out of time, he had been up front until a bad pit stop, and he wasn’t too happy that they didn’t throw a caution at the end because of debri.

“We gave away another one to Hendrick Motorsports,” Hamlin said. “It’s a shame. This has got to end. We have to win a race sooner or later. Everybody will talk about how Hendrick won another race, but this was our race.”

Hamlin was also critical of NASCAR for not calling a caution for obvious debris in the closing laps. Had the yellow flag waved, Hamlin was confident he would have beaten Gordon.

“Somebody’s entire fender and underbody was on the racetrack,” Hamlin said. “I literally pumped my fist in the car ’cause I knew a caution was going to come out. And of course, if caution comes out, it’s game over. Instead, Hendrick gets another break.” Source: Gordon remains hot, wins another race at Darlington

Jeff Gordon was also surprised they didn’t call a caution at the end, but was surprised that they did the previous caution, and again a driver mentions Nascar not being consistent.

“There absolutely should have been a caution there at the end — but there shouldn’t have been one before it,” Gordon said. “There at the end — debris, oil, everything you can imagine — was on that racetrack and that comes back to the inconsistency. I am glad they didn’t throw it at the end, but I didn’t understand why they threw it earlier.

Gordon never felt confident that his engine would go the distance. He got terrific jumps on every restart, needing the air to cool down his motor, and said he didn’t pit with his teammate because he worried the engine would overheat during the stop.

Near the end, Johnson and some other front runners pitted with about 20 laps to go, Gordon and Newman did not, and it paid off for them. Johnson said new tires always pass of there and would probably do it again the next time. He was coming fast, had he not been held up for awhile, he could’ve made it back the front as well. Here is how the finished:

1 24 Jeff Gordon
2 11 Denny Hamlin
3 48 Jimmie Johnson
4 12 Ryan Newman
5 99 Carl Edwards
6 20 Tony Stewart
7 17 Matt Kenseth
8 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
9 07 Clint Bowyer
10 31 Jeff Burton
11 1 Martin Truex Jr.
12 2 Kurt Busch
13 14 Sterling Marlin
14 01 Mark Martin
15 16 Greg Biffle
16 26 Jamie McMurray
17 29 Kevin Harvick
18 18 J.J. Yeley
19 43 Bobby Labonte
20 9 Kasey Kahne
21 19 Elliott Sadler
22 66 Jeff Green
23 42 Juan Montoya
24 78 Kenny Wallace
25 45 Kyle Petty
26 88 Ricky Rudd
27 6 David Ragan
28 13 Joe Nemechek
29 70 Johnny Sauter
30 38 David Gilliland
31 15 Paul Menard
32 22 Dave Blaney
33 00 David Reutimann
34 40 David Stremme
35 25 Casey Mears
36 84 A.J. Allmendinger
37 5 Kyle Busch
38 7 Robby Gordon
39 96 Tony Raines
40 41 Reed Sorenson
41 21 Ken Schrader
42 37 Kevin Lepage
43 83 Brian Vickers

And here are the top ten in points after Darlington Speedway:

1 — Jeff Gordon 1881 Leader
2 — Jimmie Johnson 1650
3 — Matt Kenseth 1582
4 — Denny Hamlin 1539
5 — Jeff Burton 1486
6 +1 Tony Stewart 1375
7 +2 Kurt Busch 1325
8 — Kevin Harvick 1315
9 +1 Clint Bowyer 1302
10 +1 Carl Edwards 1291

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