What Has Happened to Jeff Gordon's Winning Ways?

Travis SmithAnalyst IIJanuary 27, 2010

AVONDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 15:  Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Dupont Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2009 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Jeff Gordon maybe one of the greatest drivers of all time when his career is over, people think he is one of the best in the sport still today, and he has earned a lot of peoples respect over the years by his great driving and skill. All of those things are what makes Jeff Gordon a special driver however what has happened to Jeff Gordon the last couple of years?

Jeff Gordon had an awesome 2007 season by winning six races, twenty one top five's, thirty top ten's, and he finished second in the standings to a red hot Jimmie Johnson. After the 2007 season though, Jeff Gordon has seemed to fall from grace because we haven't see Jeff in victory lane except once in the last two seasons (Texas April 2009). Jeff went winless for the first time in his career in 2008 and didn’t even come close to winning for more than half the year that season. 2009 was better to Jeff because he was consistently finishing in the top 10 and he had an amazing seven second place finishes. Those stats are nice but that’s not what we have come to expect from Jeff Gordon after all he is the sport’s greatest legend to still be driving.

What is the problem with Jeff Gordon? People have several opinions on this matter; some believe that it’s his crew chief's fault that he can’t deliver more wins. Steve Letarte though has lead Jeff Gordon to 10 wins since the end of the 2005 season and made Jeff Gordon more consistent. Other’s believed that it’s the new car that NASCAR has used since 2007, which maybe true but don’t tell Jeff that because he still drives the hell out of the car each week. So what could it be people? Well to tell you the truth, nobody really knows.

Folks can say it’s his back or his new family but everybody has noticed that Jeff Gordon has lost that edge over the competition. I know that Jeff is great and all but how much longer will his career go on if he is only winning a race or two in a year? Besides here is a very interesting fact that people don't realize, DUPONT sponsors Jeff but their contract is up after this season and with the economy the way it is, we may see a true legend lose his main sponsor. I think Jeff will have to win three or four races plus make another run at the title for people to believe that he still has it, if he doesn’t then maybe just  maybe we may see Jeff walk away from driving for good.