Five-time Atlanta Motor Speedway winner Jeff Gordon had a solid run going early in Sunday night’s Oral-B USA 500 until cutting a tire and hitting the wall on Lap 75.
Running second to the dominant frontrunning car of Kevin Harvick, Gordon’s Chevrolet cut a right front tire going into Turn 3 and hit the outside wall to bring out the second caution of the night.
With significant damage to the right side of the No. 24 machine, the Hendrick Motorsports crew went to work clearing the fenders and making repairs as the race continued under green-flag conditions.
As a result of the incident, Gordon dropped from second to running two laps down in the 39th spot.
After making repairs, the No. 24 Chevrolet did not lose speed. That allowed Gordon to methodically work his way back through the field, eventually getting back on the lead lap.
When his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne took the checkered flag at the end of the night, Gordon crossed the line in the 17th spot.
With three victories already in 2014, Gordon is locked into this year’s 16-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup field as the series heads to Richmond International Raceway for the final race of NASCAR’s regular season.
VIDEO: Jeff Gordon hits the wall running second at Atlanta