Jeff Gordon is in the middle of his last season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series. After this season is done, his career is over and he will move on with great challenges and enjoy his time with his family. But for now on the track, Gordon isn't happy, the 24 team isn't happy and Gordon fans are not happy one bit.
From the start of the season at Daytona, who knew it would be an indicator of the frustrating season Gordon will have? He won the pole position at Daytona led the most laps in the Daytona 500 and then ended up crashing at the end of the race. Gordon later in the season would then win the pole position at Las Vegas and then crash in practice and proceed to crash again during the race. Gordon would win his third pole of the season at Talladega and then crash at the end of the race again.
In the latest events, Gordon and his crew chief for the 24 team, Alan Gustafson, had a heated exchange involving a lot of cussing on the radio during the latter stages of the race at Pocono last week where Gordon started the race in fourth position and ended up finishing 14th.
So three pole positions, three crashes as a result and teammates cussing each other out during a race. Gordon has more wrecks this season than he has top five finishes which is two. Yet somehow he still sits in 13th place in the chase standings.
Something isn't clicking with the 24 team as a whole. The pit crew has struggled with positive consistency this season on making the right adjustments on pit stops, and the team as a whole lost a lot of track position on pit stops whether it is the pit crew not executing the way they accustomed to or Gordon getting speeding penalties entering pit road at costly times which happened at Martinsville earlier this season in a car that was arguably Gordon's best car all year.
The weirdest thing about the whole situation with the 24 team is the fact that Gordon's Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Kasey Kahne obviously all share the same information and equipment. But Gordon has had the slowest car out of the four teams. The 24 team just can't find any speed on 1.5 mile tracks this season which is something Gordon had no problem with last year as he went on to win four races.
A lot of the 24 team's struggles can be attributed to the new rules package NASCAR installed this season where there is less horsepower which was 850 in the 2014 season and it is now 750 in the 2015 season. But getting on and off pit road doesn't have a direct correlation with the rules package. Cars on the track can't pass each other very easily. So the only real advantage to pass is to win positions exiting pit road and on restarts.
The season is far from over, but things don't look promising in Gordon's last season as he is searching for his fifth championship. Gordon certainly has the talent to win another championship but the 24 team has to put everything behind them now and enter every week from here on out as a new season.