Originally written on Start 'N' Park Blog  |  Last updated 10/15/14
AVONDALE, Ariz. – While it may be a two-driver battle for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship entering Sunday’s AdvoCare 500, Jeff Gordon still has plenty to fight for. And Team DuPont still has plenty of fight left. Heading into the penultimate event of the season at Phoenix International Raceway, Jeff Gordon is tied for fifth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings – the highest he has been ranked all season. “This year has been frustrating at times, but it’s also been very rewarding too,” Gordon said. “With all the adversity we have faced during the year, the never-give-up attitude of this team allowed us to secure a spot in the Chase. “And while we have had some issues in the first eight races of the Chase, there are still spots to be gained and lost. We’ll have to fight hard at Phoenix and Homestead to see if we can continue to make up more spots in the standings. “You have to keep things in perspective and look at the positives. Even though it’s not been the year we had hoped for, we have fought hard the entire season. “All things considered, I think it’s pretty impressive we’re battling for a top-five finish in the standings.” Consider that Gordon has spent more than 82 percent of the season outside the top 10 in points. After engine issues sidelined him in the season-opening Daytona 500, the 86-time winner left the Florida beaches 35th in the standings. He broke into the top 20 briefly after Las Vegas in March, but setbacks in May had Gordon again outside the top 20 until a sixth-place finish at Michigan in June. From there, the No. 24 team posted eight top-10 finishes – including a win at Pocono – in the next 11 races to snatch the final spot in the 12-driver “Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.” But the 10-race playoff began with more adversity as the No. 24 Impala hit the turn 1 wall at Chicagoland – with Gordon running fourth – after the throttle stuck. Five top-10′s in the races since, though, has him positioned the highest he has been all season. He will look to continue that climb in Phoenix on a surface and layout introduced to the teams one year ago. “We haven’t done that well (since the track changes), so hopefully we can do better this weekend,” said Gordon, who has two wins, three poles, 10 top-five finishes and 19 top-10s in 27 starts at the Arizona track. “The groove widened out from last year’s race to March, and I’d like to see it widen out even further this weekend. “But I think track position during the race will be very, very important.” Very important in Gordon’s continued ascension in the standings.

Report: Athletics trade Derek Norris to Padres

Dodgers not happy with Padres GM over Matt Kemp trade

Mario Balotelli banned match for offensive Instagram post

Marc Trestman: Benching Jay Cutler could revive QB's career

Rob Gronkowski jokes about Tom Brady saying he's grown up

Rajon Rondo traded to Mavs for three players, picks


Washington Post has perfect description for Titans-Jaguars

Wilbon angry at DC for not supporting Wizards

Urban Meyer says Tim Tebow still wants to play in the NFL

Keenan Lewis: Saints preparing 'funeral' for Falcons

Chris Christie defends being a Cowboys fan

Celtics co-owner: 2024 Olympics would be 'boon for Beantown'

Extremely rare set of Air Jordan 7s selling for $45,000

Five reasons why Alabama will win College Football Playoff

Hugh Freeze proud of Ole Miss’ record 2.57 team GPA

Youngstown St. addresses Bo Pelini's profanity-laced rant

It's been almost 40 years since NFL's last untelevised game

The NHL has finally fined a player for diving

Ben Roethlisberger: Le’Veon Bell is having an MVP season

Jim Harbaugh comments on the reported offer from Michigan

Michael Jordan's college Converse shoes sell for $33,387

Week 16 NFL game watchability rankings

Game of the week: Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Chicago Bears are the Monstrosity of the Midway

Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Gronk jokes about Brady compliment

In Matt Kemp, did the Dodgers find a pigeon in Padres?

Why the Saints are legit playoff threat

Impact of U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Andrew Hawkins, other athletes gain support for social statement attire

NBA's most underrated players

Michael Vick nearly debt-free

Dolphins CB rips Brady's career plans

Biggest winners of the MLB offseason

Brian Billick owns Browns fan

Pelini has profane words for Nebraska AD

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.