For Jeff Gordon, the hard-luck scenario is getting old -- in a hurry.
Gordon's No. 24 Chevrolet was arguably the fastest car in Sunday's FedEx 400 at Dover International Speedway. Clearly, he was the only driver able to hang with Jimmie Johnson, the race winner.
But a battle for the win between the Hendrick Motorsports teammates failed to materialize because Gordon had to make an unscheduled pit stop on Lap 250 while his crew tightened a rear wheel left loose on the previous stop.
Gordon pitted again as planned on lap 325, but he was a lap down when NASCAR called a debris caution on Lap 339. Though Gordon got back on the lead lap with a wave-around under the yellow, he couldn't work his way back to the front of the field and challenge Johnson for the win.
"The fastest car doesn't always win the race," Gordon said. "And we're sitting here in 13th, or whatever -- it's silly. . . . It's always more frustrating when you've got a car that can win, and you show it by going up there and taking the lead.
"We don't care about finishing top-15 or top-10 right now. That does nothing for us. We need wins."
Gordon never saw the debris that caused the caution that trapped him a lap down, but he's going to be looking for it in a replay of the TV broadcast.
"Yeah, I can't wait to see that debris on TV," Gordon said. "I'd like to see it, because I certainly never saw it. I'm not going to make any comments until I see what their reasoning for it was.
"I don't know who you blame if there wasn't really much out there, because all the media has been talking about all week long is 'Oh, there's no cautions, there's no cautions.' It used to be debris cautions, so who do you blame that on?"