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Coca-Cola 600 - Lowe's Motor Speedway

Jeff Gordon put up a strong qualifying effort and will start 2nd for the longest race of the season. He circled the 1.5 mile track at an average speed of 184.900 mph. Starting inside of him, on the pole, is rookie Ryan Newman.

Coming into the Coca-Cola 600, Jeff Gordon only trailed points leader Dale Jarrett by 14 points. And, after pole-sitter and favored 600 pick Ryan Newman crashed, Gordon looked to have the race win wrapped up as he lead several laps until the caution on lap 52.

However, it was during this caution that things soon went south for the #24 DuPont team. After receiving four tires and a full tank of fuel, Gordon hammered the gas and dropped the clutch to fly out of his pit stall only to run into Kenny Wallace, who was just coming in for his pit stop.

"That car was pretty good. I don't know who you blame for that one," Gordon said. "We should be aware of cars that are coming.

One little thing can ruin your day...
We pulled out and boom - got into Kenny Wallace. It's just unfortunate that it happened and we hope it doesn't happen again."

Gordon made one more lap under caution, and then came back to the pits to try to fix the problem. Unfortunately, the crew could not return the car to it's normal operation, and Gordon had to make another stop under green to further fix the car.

"When you're at a fast place," said Robbie Loomis, Gordon's frustrated crew chief, "you work a long time to get the body right. Any time you have trouble, you've got to live with it the rest of the night. ... You saw the results."

Combined with the green flag pit stop, high lap times resulted in Gordon running 3 laps down. That is where he stayed for the rest of the night, and finished 29th.

"I didn't think it was going to hurt us that bad," Gordon said. "When the guys told me that it looked all right, I thought we'd be OK. But it shows you just how one little thing like that can ruin your day. To have a car that was leading and driving away to having a car that couldn't keep up and went three laps down, that's pretty frustrating."

Jeff Gordon remains in second place in the points standings, but has fallen to 75 points behind Jarrett and only 3 points ahead of Rusty Wallace.


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