July 30, 2012
By Matthew Pizzolato
Jeff Gordon hasn't had the kind of season that either he or his fans would have liked.
He's had good cars all year but was plagued by bad luck at the start of the season.
Everything that could go wrong did for Jeff Gordon. It's gotten to the point that his most ardent fans have taken to sending him good luck charms.
"It's great that our fans are that passionate. Sometimes they take these losses harder than we do. We're more in control of our destiny and as frustrating as it's been this year because our cars have been so good, it's I think sometimes more frustrating for somebody like our big fans because they can't get in there and control it and they want to. So yeah, I've been getting plenty of good luck charms.
"And we've tried a few of them, I'll admit. I'm not too ashamed to see it turn around (but) so far my theory holds true that it's not about luck and good luck charms. It's about going out there and performing and doing what you have to do as a team."
Once he got the bad luck out of the way, he began running a little better, but still wasn't able to get to Victory Lane. He hasn't been able to dominate anywhere this year and time is rapidly running out.
While his fortunes have improved somewhat, he still finds himself on the outside looking in as far as qualifying for The Chase goes.
Gordon is talented enough to grab two race victories before The Chase, but the way his season has gone thus far, it's not very likely.
Should any of the drivers ahead of him in Wild Card contention get another win, Gordon would then need three victories before the cutoff point.
Gordon has some favorable tracks ahead of him, including Watkins Glen and Atlanta Motor Speedway. While he is NASCAR's all-time leader on road courses, he hasn't won at The Glen since 2001. His 85th and most recent win came at Atlanta last season, but it seems his race victories are becoming more and more infrequent.
The drivers ahead of him are going to have to have some bad luck of their own for Gordon to have a chance.
In twelfth place with two victories on the season, Kasey Kahne has the first wild card position pretty much locked up. The only thing that would bump him down to the second wild card would be for Brad Keselowski to have a serious run of bad luck and drop from tenth to eleventh place. With three wins on the year, Keselowski would have the first position and Kahne would get the second.
The rest of the drivers competing for that last wild card spot, Gordon included would be out of luck. In order to assure themselves of a Chase position, any of the drivers in contention need at least two wins, preferably three.
The fact is the No. 24 team suffered too greatly at the hands of Lady Luck early on in the season to be able to recover enough for a shot at the championship this season.
If you would like to learn more about Matthew, please check out his web site at matthew-pizzolato.com.
The thoughts and ideas expressed by this writer or any other writer on Insider Racing News, are not necessarily the views of the staff and/or management of IRN.