NASCAR: Top drivers of 2014 – No. 6 Jeff Gordon

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Jeff Gordon

Season finish: 6th
2014 Season Stats:  4 Wins, 14 Top-5s, 23 Top-10s, 3 Poles.

What went right: In a season that reminded us of his 1990s glory days, the four-time Sprint Cup champion held the points lead for much of the regular season. He earned three victories during that span but none were bigger than his fifth career triumph in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis, which elevated him further among the ranks of Indy legends. Gordon rolled on into the Chase and earned a fourth 2014 win in the Challenger Round finale at Dover; he would then score three more runner-up finishes in the homestretch at Charlotte, Martinsville, and Phoenix.

In summary, he showed us why he’ll go down as a legend in the sport and a likely first-ballot Hall of Famer.

What went wrong: Late in the Eliminator Round middle race at Texas, Brad Keselowski and Gordon made contact after the former went for a piece of real estate on a restart. Gordon’s tire subsequently went down and relegated him to 29th; you know the rest of the story. Then, one week later in the Eliminator finale at Phoenix, Gordon’s runner-up finish wasn’t enough to put him in the Championship Round at Homestead after Ryan Newman shoved Kyle Larson aside on the final lap to finish 11th and earn the final Championship spot.

Beyond those instances, there was one notable touch of negative: Gordon’s back woes, which came to the fore after spasms forced him out of Coca-Cola 600 practice in May. He would run the 600-mile race, but the back episode touched off talk of Gordon having to retire if those issues persist. If he wants to eventually claim a fifth Cup title, it’s something he’ll have to stay on top of.

2015 Prospectus: Despite those cruel twists of fate at Texas and Phoenix, Gordon and the 24 camp (led by crew chief Alan Gustafson) know they had a 2014 season they can feel good about and will be very eager to keep up the pace in 2015. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see them bag multiple wins again.

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
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Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.