Victor from a chaotic day at Brickyard 400, Paul Menard has increased his chances of qualifying for the Chase. Menard impressed onlookers by clever and tactical racing having utilized his last tank of gas for the final 35 laps. The result at the end of the day was a comfortable finish to 2nd placed Jeff Gordon.
Gordon too had a thrilling Sunday after managing to overcome a quarter-lap deficit. Menard continues to grow in form; however, he is wary of complacency. In his post match press release Menard stated on the issue, “We got a lot of work to do. We have Richmond and New Hampshire. Those are two of our worst tracks, honestly. We have a lot of work to do. We’ll rely on our teammates a lot. They typically run well at the short tracks.”
He added, “We have a couple intermediate tracks. We have a couple of those, looking forward to that.”
Jeff Gordon on the other hand was carving his name in stone. Gordon was seeking a record 5th win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which would have also recorded his 85th victory in the Sprint Cup Series. The win could take Gordon to the 3rd spot in the All-Time most wins category. However in the end, Gordon came around 2 laps short of the achievement.
Paul Menard took his place instead who either made an amazing judgment call on his fuel or had miraculous fluke. Gordon commented on the topic saying, “I needed a few laps to work on him. Well, I guess I needed a few more laps for him to run out of fuel, too. I had really worn the tires out, and I was pretty tight behind him.”
Nonetheless, Gordon has proven much even without a victory at Brickyard 400. Gordon informed media, “We wanted to make a statement. I think we certainly did that. This team is for real. While we didn't win, I think we definitely showed that we're a championship-caliber team.”
It was expected that results from Brickyard 400 would help differentiate positions on the table; however, results from chaotic Sunday have proven the opposite.