Blown tire likely ends Jeff Gordon’s title hopes

FORT WORTH, Texas — Jeff Gordon’s outside Sprint Cup title hopes went flat at the AAA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday.

Gordon, who came into the race in third place and 27 points out of first, brought out the third caution when a blown left front tire sent him into the wall in Turn 1 on Lap 73 while he was running 12th.

“I just know that the left front went down as I was going down the front straightaway,” Gordon said. “I felt it before I got there, and I just couldn’t get it slowed down enough. 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.”

Gordon finished in 38th place and fell to sixth in the standings, 69 points behind Jimmie Johnson, who won the race.

Kyle Busch suffered a similar fate in bringing out the second caution of the race. While running second, Busch lost a right front tire and hit the wall entering Turn 3.

Unlike Gordon, Busch was able to stay on the lead lap and ended up 13th after restarting 29th. Busch came into the race in fifth place, 36 points behind Johnson and Matt Kenseth. He moved into fourth place but is now 52 points behind Johnson.