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November 9, 2014

Jeff Gordon


KERRY THARP:  We're going to continue our post‑race for today's 27th‑annual Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500, our race runner‑up, Jeff Gordon.  He drives the No.24 Axalta Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports.  Jeff, I know you gave it everything you had, and on that last lap things happened that kept you from advancing to the championship.  Your thoughts on today?
JEFF GORDON:  Well, I'm really proud of the effort, not just today but throughout this whole season and the Chase.  I couldn't be more proud of this team and the effort that they put out.  Today was another one of those‑‑ I mean, Kevin was in another zip code.  There was no touching him.  But to come out of here second, I really thought second would get it done, but obviously it didn't.  We did everything that we could, other than have a faster race car than Kevin.  That was near impossible.  But yeah, it's disappointing.  It makes last week that much even tougher to swallow, but that's all right, we put in a great effort at Martinsville, great effort here, and it just wasn't enough.
Some things are out of our control, and I felt like we did a great job putting all the effort into the things that we could control.

Q.  Did your team just tell you after the race, hey, Newman moved a guy and you're out?  What's the feeling when you're kind of helpless like that?
JEFF GORDON:  Newman just told me that that apron was really slick, like there was some oil down there or something.
Yeah, I knew prior to that last restart, Alan told me that we weren't in at that time, and then he said, give it everything you've got, and I did.  And we come home second, and I just was hoping that it was going to be enough.  When you hear those words that it wasn't, it's disappointing.

Q.  Jeff, I assume it was pretty clear to you early on in the race that Harvick was going to be very hard to beat, but at what point did it kind of become clear that second was not going to get you in?  Was that still kind of either/or late in the race for you?
JEFF GORDON:  Well, I didn't want them to tell me points and what was going on behind me.  I saw a lot going on, but you can't go halfway through the race and have them go, okay, you're good, you're this many to the good.  That's just a false sense of hope.  You really just have to work and put your best effort out there every single lap and get the best finish you can and hope when it's all said and done that it's enough.
I mean, it's tough to swallow that two second‑place finishes and staring down a potential win or at least top 5 last week that we didn't get it done.  You know, to perform as well as we did in this round, and I was looking forward to this round for a long time, you know, ever since they announced this Chase, and we started having a good year, I was looking forward to hopefully being in this round because I felt like this was a round where we could really shine, and we did.  But it still wasn't enough.

Q.  Is it acceptable that somebody moves somebody for a spot in that situation?
JEFF GORDON:  It was acceptable last week, it's acceptable this week.  I mean, don't think that that's not going to come back to you, you know.  I mean, I could have taken out Harvick, too, to make it in, but I didn't.

Q.  Pretty much every week you've been in here in the Chase, you said you love this format, you think it's great.  You're really excited about it.  Do you feel the same way now?
JEFF GORDON:  I do.  I mean, I like it.  I do.  I'm a little concerned where it could go with‑‑ just like last week we found out on pit road where the line is drawn and when you cross over that line, and I think that it could get to that on the racetrack, as well.  I don't necessarily know that it has gotten there yet, but it's certainly possible.
I think it's incredibly intense.  This is the most interest we've had in this sport in a long time, so obviously it's been good.  I feel like the only disappointing thing or the only thing I don't like right now is the fact that I'm not in it next week.

Q.  Who do you like next week?
JEFF GORDON:  I like Harvick.  Yeah, I think Harvick looks really good.  I mean, Denny‑‑ the guy has led the most laps all year long, guys.  It's not me that's saying this.  I do think that Denny won that race last year, so he can be really, really strong there.  But Kevin looked good there in the test, and man, they've just been so strong lately, and it seems like they've gotten some of the bugs worked out in their team that they had early in the year, and I think if they do that next week, they're going to be really tough to beat like they were today.
KERRY THARP:  Jeff Gordon, thank you for coming in.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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