"All I can do now is look ahead and look forward and try to come in here and do the best that I can to close out the season on a positive note," summed up Gordon. And after that, it was definitely time for a long break from the pressure cooker atmosphere of the 36-race NASCAR
"I always ‑ it doesn't matter how the season has gone ‑ look forward to taking a little time off," he said. "Our season is long, but when you've had a season like I've had, then yeah, you're definitely looking forward to taking a little break, spending some time with family.
"But it's also a very busy time," he added. "It's just not a busy time at the race track preparing for a race." Before you know it, it'll be time to load up the haulers once again for their journey to the 2013 season opener at Daytona
International Speedway in February, where the ghosts of feuds past, present and future will doubtless once more factor into the race equation.