Early in Jeff Gordon's Cup career, it was a rare instance when you'd see that No. 24 Chevy wadded up before the end of a race.
One of his strongest points as a driver was his ability to avert trouble more often than not, and often times that trait alone would land him in victory lane. Even when he did find trouble, it wasn't enough to include him in the rather infamous club of drivers who have turned their cars turtle.
That is, until the 2012 Budweiser Shootout.
That race was the last to be run under that moniker, which was first introduced in 1998 as the shortened Bud Shootout. There were several wrecks involving several drivers, taking out such entries as David Ragan, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., pole-sitter Martin Truex, Jr., and 500 winner Matt Kenseth.
With two laps remaining, Tony Stewart was leading and looked poised to take Shootout victory number four, with Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon in hot pursuit. Going into the third turn, Gordon tried to move Busch up the track to take second place when an awkward tap on the rear bumper of Busch's Toyota sent him sideways.
Gordon tried to move up the track to avoid any further contact and proceeded to be turned along with Kurt Busch. Both went headfirst into the wall.
Kyle Busch would go on to spin harmlessly while more cars were collected, including Jamie McMurray and Jimmie Johnson, the latter of which would be turned into the 24 and lift him onto his side. Gordon's mount slid for several hundred feet before beginning a series of flips which ended with him on his roof.
All involved in the final multi-car accident walked away without injury, but the excitement wasn't over yet. Kyle Busch would go on to pit for tires and make his way to the front in the ensuing green-white-checkered finish, where he would barely edge ahead of Tony Stewart coming to the checkered flag and take the victory in a side-by-side finish. Kyle's win in the Shootout was the second straight for a Busch brother.