NASCAR

Gordon's Chase hopes take hard hit in Texas

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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP)

Jeff Gordon crashed at Texas on Sunday, a week after his victory returned him to contention in the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.

Gordon had problems with his front left tire Sunday. The four-time Cup champion hit the wall hard and high between the first and second turns, bringing out a caution on the 75th of 334 scheduled laps at the 1 1/2-mile track.

After the Hendrick Motorsports team worked to get the No. 24 Chevrolet back on the track, Gordon finally got back on the track during a much later caution. When the race resumed with 72 laps left, Gordon was 185 laps off the pace behind leader and teammate Jimmie Johnson.

''I just know that the left front went down as I was going down the front straightaway. I felt it before I got there, and I just couldn't get it slowed down enough,'' Gordon said. ''I don't know; the wind was so strong that the car was doing funky things down the straightaways. I don't know if that was a slow leak, or if it just went all of a sudden. Our car just didn't take off very good, but boy was it strong on the long runs.''

After winning at Martinsville, Gordon moved up to a season-high third in points behind Matt Kenseth and Johnson.

Only two races remain after Texas.

Tagged: Jeff Gordon

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