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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. You know, we haven't had the best of seasons, and I think that's not an unknown thing. We all know what we've gone through this year. But we went through a lot last year, and we got to play it out to the final lap of the race last year and we made it in. This year we had that same scenario being played out and were fighting to the chequered flag and basically doing the similar thing to somebody else's misfortune. The #22 was just having a bad day and we were going to make it in.

So to me, the previous races, this team really started to turn the corner and started putting a string of races together that really put us in that position as well as taking advantage of that opportunity that was there Saturday night. Even though we got two laps down and had our issues and had to fight back from it, we were still doing what we needed to do. That, right now, is the thing that stands out the most to me of how proud I am that this team just never, ever gives up. That's what we did in the race on Saturday.

I'll be honest, by Tuesday of this week, I was letting go of my anger and the things that I felt like kept us from being in it and was ready to move on. I had the most unbelievable support from my fans this week.

That's the beauty of Twitter. We all know Twitter can work both ways on you, and in this case what I love about social media is years ago back when I won my last championship, I had no connection to the fans to this level other than being at the racetrack, going to an autograph session, going to an event for sponsors. And now I'm able to see what everybody was thinking and what they're saying and it's unbelievable. I never felt so much support that I did. And also anger as well.

Like our fans were feeling it right along with me, and it was pretty wild and crazy to watch how that was all playing out this week. I was ready to move on and when I saw the stuff with the #22 and the #38, I was like, hmm, what's going to come of this? And it brought some new hope.

Q:
Where do you think the integrity of the sport stands and what do you want to find out tomorrow at that meeting and how vocal will you be?

Jeff Gordon:
One thing I want to bring up on this is I'm excited about that meeting tomorrow. I am. Even though I think we're going to get reprimanded a little bit because it doesn't all lie on NASCAR. We all have a responsibility in this. But we are fierce competitors. I don't think a fierce competitor can ever be torn down by trying to do everything they possibly can to win a race, to be in a championship battle, to win the championship and in some ways even to help out their teammates who helped them get to that point.

That is what you've got to understand. It's not just giving up something for a friend or something like that. You work as a team.

In our situation, it's one of the most unique because of the multi-car teams. It is one of the most unique. So because of that competitive drive, it pushes us sometimes to do things that even we question. I think that through all of this I think that, yes, the integrity of the sport has been put at question. I think we have one of the greatest sports that exists. To see our integrity get questioned is very upsetting to me, and I think we, along with NASCAR, have to solve this. I'm glad that we are going to get this opportunity to do this.

I wish it had not happened under these circumstances. I really do wish we could have come to this conclusion sooner, but sometimes that's just not the case. But we are going to move forward and we are going to be a better sport tomorrow and on Sunday and in the future because of this circumstance.

You've got to take a negative and turn it into a positive, and I believe that's what's going to happen.

Q:



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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)
Brian Scott, driver of the #2 Shore Lodge Chevrolet, leads Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, during the NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, drive driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinios.com 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 Napa Auto Parts Chevrolet, wins the EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Cars race after a restart lead by Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 Napa Auto Parts Chevrolet (L), Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Cartwheel by Target Chevrolet (R) during the EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 AutoTrader.com Ford, and Morgan Shepherd, driver of the #33 Little Joe`s Autos Chevrolet, crash during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redds Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redds Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redds Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redds Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
A view of the track during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Crew chief Chad Knaus inspects the car of Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, after a crash during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, lead the field at the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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