Jeff Gordon Is Moving in All the Right Directions

Mary Jo BuchananSenior Writer IJune 16, 2009

BROOKLYN, MI - JUNE 12: Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 DuPont/National guard Chevrolet, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LifeLock 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 12, 2009 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

From Michigan to Indy to Infineon, Jeff Gordon has been on the move.  But more important, along the way, Gordon has demonstrated that he also has all the right moves.

This past weekend, Gordon raced from a dead last start to a second place finish at Michigan International Speedway. Gordon had to start last in the race due to an engine failure and subsequent engine change in practice.

In spite of the poor starting position, Gordon patiently worked his way slowly through the field, picking off spots position by position.  Soon after the midpoint of the race, Gordon had moved up into the top ten and solidly lurked in that position as the laps quickly clicked by.

"I thought it was...a darn good race, I really did", said Gordon. "I can tell you from where I was sitting it certainly was because I had to work really hard to come from 43rd."

Gordon continued, "And I followed Mark Martin most of the way.  You know, every time I took a step forward, he'd take a step forward.  So I saw both of us work our way to the front."

Gordon's teammate Jimmie Johnson led most of the race, with Roush racer Greg Biffle keeping close tabs in the second position.  But when all was said and done, Johnson ran out of fuel with two laps to go.

Biffle followed suit in the final lap, running on fumes to the finish.  The fuel issues allowed Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon to finish first and second, a first for Hendrick Motorsports teammates in Michigan.

"There was hard racing all the way down to the finish, and the two guys leading didn't make it," said Gordon. "I thought that was great.  I mean, not just because I finished second."

Gordon continued, "But, you know, I think it just made for great entertainment. That's what we're really here for."

Gordon's great moves in the Irish hills of Michigan also moved him ever closer to points leader Tony Stewart.  Gordon went from 71 points behind Stewart after the Pocono race to 47 points behind.

This put Gordon just 24 points behind Stewart in the championship chase.  This move up in the points also positioned Gordon snugly in the second spot, in good shape for the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

"We have more days like today", said Gordon after the Michigan race, "we're gonna be able to do what we need to do to win this championship."

From Michigan, Gordon barely caught his breath before moving on to Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  He was one of the final drivers scheduled to do tire testing at Indy for Goodyear, as a result of the tire fiasco the last time NASCAR visited the Brickyard.

Four-time champion Gordon participated in the last of seven tire tests at Indy. He was one of the final drivers of the thirty who participated in the tire testing blitz over the past several months.

"Goodyear has done an excellent job and they obviously deserve a lot of credit for all of the hard work, effort, time and money that's been spent to get it right", said Gordon. "But obviously a lot of teams have contributed to put in a lot of laps to get it where it is today."

Gordon continued, "I'm 100 percent confident in this tire. I ran this tire as hard as I could; put numerous laps on it."

"The tire situation is a dead issue," said Gordon. "I can promise all the fans out there that if they want to come to the Brickyard and see a great race and be confident that the tires are not going to be an issue, they can trust me."

Gordon continued, saying, "I'm 100 percent confident in this tire. Goodyear got it resolved for sure."

Now that Gordon has tested the tires at Indy and pronounced them good, he will next move on to NASCAR's first road race of the season at Infineon.

While Gordon typically does well at road courses, he has also had his share of bad luck. Gordon has traditionally good finishes at Sonoma, including a third place finish last year.  But the other road course on the Cup schedule at Watkins Glen has not been so kind to him,.

Gordon certainly hopes and expects to have a better finish this race weekend. There is no doubt that he wants a good solid race so that he can continue his move forward in the points standings.

"This always a fun weekend for me personally," said Gordon. "It's always good to see family and friends, and this is always close to my daughter Ella's birthday. And this year, it's also Father's Day."

In addition to moving across the country, there is one last good move that Gordon has made.  He continues his charitable work with a very sweet promotion.

Gordon and his Foundation have partnered with Schwan's Home Service to offer "Jeff Gordon's Wide Open Mint Chip Swirl" ice cream.  The proceeds of the sale of the ice cream in special tins will benefit both the Foundation and the Jeff Gordon Children's Hospital.

For every ice cream tin sold in this partnership, $1.00 will go towards the treatment of pediatric cancer. The promotion is available through Gordon's Foundation at

Whether criss-crossing the country or promoting one more charitable endeavor, Jeff Gordon continues to prove that he indeed is making all the right moves in his life, on and off the track.