An Open Letter To Gordon Nation


Dear Gordon Nation,

I understand your frustration. 2014 was one of Jeff’s best seasons in years and he not only didn’t win the championship but he didn’t even have an opportunity to contend for the championship at Homestead. I get it. I don’t even blame you for being upset with Brad Keselowski or anyone who thinks Brad was justified in trying to make it three wide at Texas. That one move ruined Jeff’s season and your season as a fan. A chance at a championship slipped through Jeff Gordon’s fingers yet again and if you weren’t mad I would question if you were even a Jeff Gordon fan.

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It has been well over a decade since Gordon won his last title. Many blogs and sports sites have made it clear that Gordon would now be a 7-time champion if it wouldn’t have been for NASCAR and their crazy Chase For The Sprint Cup idea. We all realize that time is not on Jeff’s side and he won’t race forever. As a fan you’re running out of time to see your guy win a championship. However, there are some things Jeff Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports could’ve done to keep his chances alive until Homestead.

First the substantial loss of points Jeff suffered after the incident with Brad Keselowski at Texas could’ve been minimized and possibly avoided. Coming to the restart Jeff chose to start on the outside instead of the inside. He was also in control of how close to Jimmie Johnson he entered the turn. Enter a little lower and there wouldn’t be space for Brad Keselowski to take advantage of. These two choices caused him to be

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put in a bad situation and his tire was cut down.

Next, once the car hit pit road the crew changed the right side tires first instead of changing lefts and getting Jeff back on the track. It’s very likely that Jeff would’ve made up at least one spot on the track with fresh tires. As it turns out one spot would’ve sent him to Homestead with a chance at the championship instead of Ryan Newman.

I’m not criticizing Jeff for making the decisions that he did that night. These are all hard decisions that need to be made is a split second and I couldn’t fathom doing what these drives do for a living. I’m just pointing out that these are choices that Jeff made himself.

Now for a minute I’ll entertain the idea that the tire issue never happened at Texas and Jeff Gordon advanced to Homestead. Gordon again had a dominate car capable of winning but in the closing laps crew chief Alan Gustafson left him on the track with old tires. Admittedly Gustafson said this was a poor decision and caused Jeff to pit on the next caution relegating him to a 10th place finish. Far from the first place finish he would’ve needed on Sunday to win the championship.

Don’t get me wrong. Jeff Gordon is a future hall of famer and one of the greatest drivers that ever sat behind the wheel of a stock car. If anyone is deserving of another championship it is him. However, Jeff and the team didn’t execute down the stretch. This happens all the time on a smaller scale when a driver dominates the race and leads the most laps but can’t find their way to victory lane at the end of the day. The same goes for Jeff’s championship effort in 2014.

So please, don’t blame NASCAR and Brad Keselowski for ruining Jeff Gordon’s chances this year. There is plenty of blame that can be placed on the shoulders of the No. 24 team. They put up a great effort and had good runs but in the Sprint Cup Series of today that isn’t always enough. I don’t expect you to be happy about it but there is a silver lining. 2015 isn’t far away and I fully expect Jeff to recover and apply what he learned this year to be even better next year. Championships are hard to come by but you are a fan of a driver a driver who won’t quit on you. Jeff and the rest of the Gordon Nation have plenty of reasons to keep their heads high. Best of luck to Jeff for a flawless 2015 and a fifth championship.

Aaron Hale is a Staff Writer for on the FanSided Network. Follow us on Twitter @Beyond_The_Flag and “Like” us on Facebook.