The early report on Jeff Gordon, driver of the Hendricks Motor Sport Dupont Chevrolet, is having a terrible season. I would go as far to say, a very Un- Jeff Gordon season. The four time Sprint Cup Champion has had problem after problem. It all started out in Daytona where a blown engine resulted in his first DNF of the year and a 40th place finish. He has had two decent finishes at Texas and Richmond, and pulled back to 17th in points, 117 points behind leader Greg Biffle. For this effort I’m going to give him a C+.
His 2012 season has resulted in no poles, one top five at the Samsung Mobil 500 in Texas and one top 10 finish at The Subway Fresh Fit 500 in Phoenix. This is not going to “Git-er-Done”. He’s had three top 10 starts, but bad luck and poor handling race cars seem to find him. The remainder of his starts look to be a result of Jeff and Crew Chief Alan Gustavson being un-able to find any handle on the race track.
I have been an avid Jeff Gordon fan since Bobby Labonte left Joe Gibbs and the #18 car, and have not seen Jeff struggle as much as he has this season. In the past, you could always count on Jeff to drive what he had. If he had a 5th place car, he would finish fifth, always with an eye on the points. One of Jeff’s assets has always been his ability to understand his car, and make adjustments during a race to make it better.
This year, he seems to be pushing when he doesn’t have the car to compete. I’m not sure if it’s out of frustration or he is losing his patience as he get’s older. He has said a couple of times that he didn’t have a clue about the car when they unloaded, and still didn’t have a clue when they loaded up to go.
In my opinion, Jeff Gordon has never liked or been comfortable with the COT car Nascar brought out during the 2007 season and mandated at the start of the 2008 campaign. Nascar was going to wait until the 2009 season to use it full time, but moved the schedule up to the 2008 season as a cost cutting measure. Jeff was married to the older spoiler car and dominated for a decade prior to it’s demise.
Jeff Gordon has been and still is one of the best race car drivers in Nascar. I wouldn’t think for a minute that he is not going to make the chase. He has some tracks on the upcoming schedule that he has had success, and a true Champion with 85 career wins is going to Git-er-Done. Somewhere in the near future, his luck is going to turn around and then look out for that #24 Dupont Chevy.