After 33 NASCAR Cup Series races, two drivers sit tied in the 2013 Championship race but Jeff Gordon has not given up on his chance at a fifth title of his own.
With several missed opportunities for victory in 2013, Gordon finally captured a victory with a late race charge that moved him to within 27 points of the championship point lead.
"This meant so much," said Gordon on breaking his winless streak. "I feel like we've worked so hard, and many weekends we've left the racetrack looking at one another going, what do we have to do? We've had race cars, we've had pit stops, and we've had strategy. I feel like I've had days where I've done my part but just couldn't get it all lined up."
Gordon has had a lot of success at Martinsville over the years and feels that the track is the same now as it was in his first victory.
"I would say that it's still kind of old school," continued Gordon on his latest victory at the paper clip shaped racetrack. "You've got to save the tires, you've got to be patient, you have to get into a rhythm. I like this track."
Matt Kenseth tried to hold onto the lead in the final segment of the race but couldn't hold off the expertise of Gordon for the win.
"Yeah, I mean, gosh, for how Martinsville has been for me, how could you not be pleased," said Kenseth after the race. "I mean, I think we led the most laps and finished second. The only guy happier is Jeff."
Kenseth moved back into a tie with Jimmie Johnson atop the point standings but still felt that the championship battle was still wide open.
"If you're more than that behind more than one driver, more than two drivers, I think that's hard to overcome with three races to go," continued Kenseth. "But as we've seen through the years, anything can happen."
As you recall, Gordon entered the 2013 under some controversy after penalties to Michael Waltrip Racing forced NASCAR to add a 13th team to the Chase. However, Gordon feels that his team has earned being there.
"We wanted to be in it," continued the race winner. "We feel like we were in a position to earn our way into it, and I think that this team would have performed like this whether we were in it or not."
Gordon knows that it's not over till it's over and he plans to fight all the way to Homestead.
"The best thing we can do is just go out there and try to win and get closer and closer and have a chance at Homestead," said Gordon. "That really was my goal going into the Chase."
We'll see how it all turns out in a few short weeks but, it is certainly going to be interesting.
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