Jeff Gordon laments Chase elimination, holds Keselowski and Texas incident as main reason

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Despite falling short of the championship round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Jeff Gordon has nothing to be ashamed of.

In his quest for the fifth Cup championship of his career, the so-called “Drive For Five” – in what would have been his 13th try at it since his last title in 2001 – Gordon had arguably his best season in close to a decade.

That’s why Gordon is understandably disappointed to have come so close, and yet ultimately fell short.

“I’m disappointed,” Gordon said. “I thought if we came out of here second, even if it was to Kevin or (Brad) Keselowski, I thought we’d still make it in.

“That’s pretty disappointing to do all of that. It just makes last week (at Texas) that much more disappointing and I’m going to be thinking about that one for a while.”

Even so, Gordon and the No. 24 team, who were the only remaining hope for Hendrick Motorsports to win the championship, have nothing to be ashamed about for falling just one point – ONE POINT! – short of reaching the championship round.

“Yeah, it’s disappointing, but we have a lot to hold our heads up high about – the way that we raced this race and this whole Chase and the whole season,” Gordon said. “We raced hard. We raced together as a team.

“But I hope we taught somebody (Keselowski) that you can race clean and still go out there and give it your best. You don’t have to wreck people to make it in the Chase or win the championship.”

That’s why even if he had been able to catch Harvick in the closing laps and likely would have had to wreck him to win the race himself, Gordon said he would not have done so in much the same fashion that Ryan Newman forced Kyle Larson into the wall to earn the one extra point for Newman to make the Chase – and Gordon to be eliminated.

“I’m not going to wreck a guy that’s racing me clean all year long just to make it into the Chase,” Gordon said of Harvick. “That’s not what it’s all about for me.

“You’re not going to go win the championship next week by doing that. So, it’s just unfortunate. It’s just unfortunate. We did everything so good this year.”

But if there’s anyone Gordon is going to blame for falling short, it won’t be Newman, but rather Keselowski.

“That one race, that one race (last week at Texas) is going to stick with me for a little while,” Gordon said. “I got over it this week, knowing that we could come here and compete like this. Now it makes it sting that much more.”

Perhaps what makes the Chase elimination pill even more bitter to swallow is that Gordon finished second to race winner Harvick, yet still was eliminated.

“We did everything right, in my opinion,” Gordon said. “We did everything that we could control. We ran smart races. We were aggressive when we needed to be. We had great race cars. When we needed to qualify up front, we qualified up front.

“Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) called a great race today. We fell back; had some issues on a pit stop, and fought our way back up there and held on for second there at the end. We gave it everything. I’m proud of that.”

There had been speculation that Gordon might call it quits after this season, whether he won the championship or not.

But he allayed those fears totally after Sunday’s race.

“I certainly will (return in 2015) because of this race team,” Gordon said. “They have inspired me this year. They’ve given me great cars and great confidence.

“They’ve given me such great cars, and pit stops and pit strategy and it’s been a lot of fun this year. I think nobody is more deserving and has worked harder to be at Homestead battling for this championship than this No. 24 team. But some things are out of our control.”

To his credit, even though he didn’t reach the championship, Gordon still tried to find something to smile about.

“I told my wife when the day started that no matter what happens today, we have a lot to smile about and be happy about,” Gordon said. “We have two wonderful children. We’ve worked our guts out this year as a race team and we’ve won races and showed everybody what kind of race team we are.

“And for that I’m extremely proud. I knew if this moment happened and we had that kind of performance today, it would be very tough to take. But that’s the reality of it.”

While Gordon still has a chance to win the season-ending race, he called Sunday the most empty feeling he’s ever had after driving a great race – but with a caveat.

“Yeah, it is,” Gordon said, then adding with a laugh, “Besides last week (after his run-in with Keselowski).”

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Peacock to stream all Supercross and Motocross races in 2023, plus inaugural SuperMotocross Championship

Peacock Supercross Motocross 2023
Feld Entertainment, Inc.
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NBC Sports and Feld Motor Sports announced that Peacock and the NBC family of networks will stream all 31 races of the combined Monster Energy Supercross, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and the newly created SuperMotocross World Championship beginning January 7, 2023 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California and ending October 14 in the place where Supercross was born: the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The combined series will create a 10-month calendar of events, making it one of the longest professional sports’ seasons in the United States.

The agreement is for multiple years. The season finale will air live on Peacock and the USA Network.

Peacock will present live coverage of all races, qualifying and heats across both series. The 31 total races will mark a record for the combined number of Supercross and Pro Motocross events that NBC Sports will present in a single season.

NBC, USA Network and CNBC will provide coverage of all races, including the SuperMotocross World Championship Playoffs and Final, through 2023 and beyond. For more information about the Peacock streaming service, click here.

“With our wide array of live and original motorsports offerings, Peacock is a natural home for Supercross and Pro Motocross races,” said Rick Cordella, Chief Commercial Officer, Peacock. “We’re looking forward to providing fans with an easily-accessible destination to find every race all season long, including the exciting finish with the newly formed SuperMotocross World Championship.”

MORE: A conversation about media rights created the new SuperMotocross World Championship Series

The NBC family of networks has been home to Supercross for the past several seasons and this is a continuation of that relationship. The media rights for both series expired at the end of 2022, which allowed Supercross and Motocross to combine their efforts.

In fact, it was that conversation that led to the formation of the SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX).

The SMX series will begin on September 9, 2023 after the conclusion of the Pro Motocross season. Points will accumulate from both series to seed the SMX championship, which creates a record number of unified races.

“The SuperMotocross World Championship adds a new dimension to the annual Supercross and Pro Motocross seasons that will result in crowning the ultimate World Champion,” said Stephen C. Yaros, SVP Global Media and Supercross for Feld Motor Sports. “We are thrilled to be extending our relationship with NBC Sports so our fans can watch all the racing action streaming live on Peacock and the option to also watch select rounds on NBC, USA Network and CNBC.”

Complete 2023 coverage schedules for Supercross, Pro Motocross and the SuperMotocross World Championship on Peacock, NBC, USA Network and CNBC will be announced in the near future.