By all accounts, four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jeff Gordon drove the best race of his life last night at Richmond International Speedway, cinching one of the two coveted Wild Card spot in the 2012 Chase for the Sprint Cup.
"I went from last week to being the most disappointed I've ever been to finish second to the most excited I've ever been to finish second," said Gordon to the press.
While Gordon led the lead lap at the start of the race, the car was plagued with problems in much of the first half, sending him to the back of the pack. After a 55 minute rain delay and a few much needed adjustments to the Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, Gordon came back as only Gordon can do.
At lap 237 (400 total laps) Gordon was at P23 and powered through positions, moving up to the tenth position with 100 laps to go. The car was fast, Gordon was determined and the team was hungry for a win. With 50 laps to go, Gordon had claimed P4 and even after a pit stop for four more tires and fuel he worked his way back up again from P10 with 35 laps to go - and he didn't look back. As he drove under the checkered flag, Alan Gustafson told him he made the Chase. Gordon gave a shouted happily on the radio, and told reporters that he felt like he won. "We're in this thing."
No surprise, after the race, Jeff Gordon's name was trending on Twitter. If you were a Gordon fan it was a feeling of immense pride. And just as he didn't give up last night - "Never Give Up Baby," he shouted on the radio - he is using that same powerful determination and will to help AARP and the AARP Foundation fight to end senior hunger.
And it's not too late to join Jeff's team today and help us make sure no senior has to choose between food and medicine. You can start a team today and rally your friends and family to help you earn some amazing prizes! Get started today and help us get to the finish line!
From all of us at AARP and the AARP Foundation, we are proud of you Jeff Gordon and the Hendrick Motorsports family! Congratulations!
Photo courtesy of Patti Shea
Enjoy a few tweets from the fans last night, many of whom were right there with him, biting off their nails: