Originally posted on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 9/9/12
Jeff Gordon never gave up. He promised his team - and his fans - that he wouldn't go down without a fight. And fight he and his No. 24 team did, with a second-place finish at Richmond International Raceway to snag a ticket to the 2012 NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup. With 12 points separating Gordon from 12th-place Kyle Busch entering the 26th and final race of the regular season, Gordon qualified his car second. He then led two of the first 10 laps of Saturday night's Federated Auto Parts 400 before his car began to fade. Then, Gordon was haunted by gremlins. His ill-handling car developed brake issues. He then thought there was a vibration. And then the oil temperature shot up to 300 degrees as he dropped to 17th on Lap 120. Seven circuits later, Denny Hamlin put the No. 24 car one lap down. But then luck turned in Gordon's favor. During the fourth caution, the crew cut the chain on the car's sway bar in an effort to help Gordon's handling. He first appeared defeated while the...
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