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Jeff Gordon reacts to Jimmie Johnson’s late-race move at Charlotte




Perhaps no driver — or former driver, in this case — knows Jimmie Johnson better than Jeff Gordon.

Gordon scouted Johnson early in his career, had a major hand in Rick Hendrick signing the now-seven-time series champion and helped Johnson grow and develop into the 83-time winner he is now. The two remain tight even with Gordon’s retirement from full-time racing following the 2015 season.

Gordon watched Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at the Charlotte road course closely. He saw Johnson, running second, attempt to pass leader Martin Truex Jr. in the final chicane, but spin, take himself out of contention for the win and ultimately be eliminated from the postseason.

MORE: Johnson spins way out of NASCAR Playoffs

“This one didn’t go the way that the 48 wanted it to go,” Gordon said Tuesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “The reason why Jimmie Johnson has 83 wins and seven championships is — and it doesn’t matter if it’s for 10th, for fifth or for first — that guy goes for it. You gotta understand that was a split-second decision. He got a great run on the chicane, and he’s like ‘I want to win this race.’ At that moment, you’re not thinking about anything but checkered flags.

“What I can tell you is that if I had a stack of resumes here and somewhere on that resume it says this guy is going to go for it on the last lap in the last corner every single time, and there’s some risk involved in that, I’m going to take him over all the others every single time.”

Johnson’s spin also caught race leader Martin Truex Jr., who had to settle for 14th. The No. 78 team already had advanced to the Round of 12 regardless of Sunday’s result, but lost an opportunity to collect more playoff points with a Charlotte victory.

“I can tell you the last thing (Jimmie) wanted to do is take out Martin Truex Jr.,” Gordon added. “He’s the type of guy that wants to race hard and race clean.”

DEBATE: Was Jimmie’s move the right one?


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