Start ‘N’ Park Blog is taking a look back at the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver by driver. This recap will take a look at the driver’s stats, the season’s highlights, the season’s lowlights, what a quick look at next year. This installment takes a look back at Jeff Gordon who finished in the 10th place in the final standings.
Preseason Pick: 6th
Top 5s: 11
Top 10s: 18
What Was Said Prior To The Season:
“I ranked him second last year because I thought there would be magic between him and his new crew chief Alan Gustafson. They won the second race of the season and it looked like I nailed the pick. Then the summer months hit and they all disappeared. They showed signs of life late, but it was too little too late. I think they’ll be more on track in 2012, but like Ryan Newman before him, there’s just more talented teams ahead of him.”
What Happened In 2012:
A 35th to start the Chase really put him in a hole he could not dig out of. You take that out and his finishes would have put him near the top of the final standings, aka where I picked him. The season should be remembered for Gordon battling hard to make the Chase and getting two wins. Instead because of his boneheaded actions at Phoenix, intentionally taking out Clint Bowyer, that’s what most will remember when you say “Gordon” and “2012” together. He won Homestead, so he will have momentum going into 2013 for sure.
On To 2013:
Speaking of 2013, Gordon just needs to iron out those poor finishes he endured and he’ll be on track for his fifth title. The team stays together again, with the only big change being DuPont continuing to scale back their sponsorship. He’ll be in the conversation again in 2013 and looking to win at Kentucky. That win will have him winning at every track he’s ever competed on in the Sprint Cup Series.