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Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsport - Q&A

"I found out when you guys found out. Well, maybe not. Maybe you guys found out before me. I was watching on FOX Sports One. That's when I found out."
Q:
Joining us now is Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. He qualified sixth out here today for the 13th Annual Geico 400.

But, certainly, Jeff, it's been an eventful day for you, just talk a little bit about that and your outlook for Sunday's race here at Chicagoland Speedway?

Jeff Gordon:
Well, I mean, we came into the day really just focused on doing what we do. This is actually a really - had a really great race going here last year and had our issues. So, to me, that was all we were focused on doing was putting together another solid race regardless of what was going on. Of course, it was hard to not hear rumblings about what may occur, what may not occur. We just tried not to get our hopes up or get our mind focused on that.

But I'll admit, it's been a rough week. It was a lot of up-and-downs of emotions for this entire team this week. They've been through a lot. They never gave up. Not only Saturday night, but this entire week, and I'm proud of that. I'm very appreciative, very thankful to be in, and I know it's under the most unbelievable circumstances I've ever been a part of in my racing career, and I wish that all of this hadn't happened. I wish that we could have just raced for it on Saturday night, but that wasn't the case.

Now here we are as a 13th car and in. Now we just try to take that opportunity and make the most of it.

Q:
Number one, you've seen a lot of things in NASCAR, but I imagine you've never seen anything like this before. So did you at any point think you had a shot at getting this overturned this way and getting into the Chase? Two, earlier this week you tweeted that you felt bad for Martin, so in any sense do you kind of wish there had been a ruling that maybe he could have gone into the Chase?

Jeff Gordon:
Well, what I felt bad about with Martin was the circumstances which he got in under then for that to be taken away. To be on that stage after the race is over, to feel like that pressure was off, that they made it in. I know what that's like. He drove his butt off. I raced with him in the closing laps and he raced hard. You could tell what he was racing for. The guy didn't do anything wrong. For that, I felt bad for him.

But we didn't get to see the race play out. We don't know what the results were going to be because of the circumstances of that spin changed everything. That, to me, is the only reason I'm accepting being in in the 13th, because under normal circumstances I would say no, that's not right.

But under these circumstances, I feel there is enough reason for us to be in. I know how hard we worked and that we earned the right to be in.

Q:
When did you find out and what were your emotions? I talked to Alan Gustafson earlier, and he said that he felt even to the closing laps that you guys were Chase contenders and should have been in and expected that to be the case.

Jeff Gordon:



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Brian France, chairman & CEO of NASCAR, and Mike Helton, president of NASCAR, speak during a press conference following practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2013 in Joliet, Illinois. NASCAR announced that Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, would be added as a 13th driver in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.  (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, signs autographs during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2013 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS qualified 6th Friday, September 13, 2013 for Sunday`s Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois. Gordon is 13th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings and is in the Chase. (Picture Credit: Alan Marler for Chevrolet)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, speaks at a press conference during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2013 in Joliet, Illinois. Gordon was awarded a 13th spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup by NASCAR.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, passes Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, to take the lead and win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and team owner Tony Stewart celebrate winning in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with his wife DeLana and son Keelan in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 Stanley Ford, poses with his team before his last race, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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