Jeff Gordon describes his experience at Coachella: ‘Ingrid and I are still kind of giggling’


BRISTOL, Tenn. – After finishing seventh Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway, Jeff Gordon hopped aboard a plane with his wife, Ingrid Vandebosch, and jetted west to catch Coachella.

If the concept of a four-time NASCAR champion attending the country’s trendiest music festival seems surreal, so was his arrival in the Southern California desert.

“It was amazing,” Gordon told NBC Sports after Sprint Cup practice Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway. “Ingrid and I are still kind of giggling about our experience because we landed at this airport, walked off a plane and literally walked into this party in one of the hangars. And it’s a carnival, it’s a DJ, it’s celebrities everywhere. It was really cool. That kind of kicked it off for us.

“I can’t say I’m this avid music festival kind of a person, but I enjoy music, and it was a really cool experience. It was really beautifully done, very first class, and everybody is just having a great time.”

The couple spent Sunday on the festival grounds in Indio, Calif., enjoying acts such as Florence + the Machine (“She jumped off the stage into the crowd and later they announced she broke her foot. My gosh, she’s got so much energy, running all over the place. She puts on a good show.”), Kaskade and David Guetta.

While making the rounds around the six-stage festival, Gordon frequently was recognized.

“One of the bartenders actually had my shirt on, we went up to him and ordered drinks,” Gordon said. “He was like, ‘Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me?’ ”

The last place you’d expect to see a NASCAR driver?

“Totally,” Gordon said. “Well, the last place I expected to see somebody in a 24 shirt.”

Gordon said he developed a fondness for the music festival experience last summer when he and Ingrid visited Ibiza, an island off the coast of eastern Spain that is renowned for its pulsating nightlife scene that features electronic dance music. A friend encouraged the couple to attend Coachella after a memorable time in Ibiza.

“It was awesome,” Gordon said. “What I like about Ibiza is it’s not just about the music, it’s the whole entertainment aspect. I’m not really like a connoisseur of EDM. I have to hear music that I maybe hear on the radio or that I know is more mainstream, and then I get into it, but what I appreciate no matter what I’m hearing is the entertainment aspect with the lights.

“They had this guy in a water jet thing doing spins and backflips, spraying water around the crowd. Not to mention, 5,000 people on the pool deck of this hotel in a real famous location. There were girls bringing champagne with sparklers and Star Wars costumes. One thing after another, and you’re like ‘Oh my God, did I just see that?’ It was really, really cool. We’re hesitant to ever go back because we’re afraid we won’t be able to top it.”

He also doesn’t have a repeat visit planned to Coachella, which is entering the second weekend of its annual event.

Gordon said an employee from at his foundation joked that he’s “got great street credit now.”

He could gain even more with his next excursion into youth culture.

“My next thing,” Gordon said with a laugh, “is Burning Man. I want to go.”

NASCAR Cup playoff standings after Coca-Cola 600


The severe penalty to Chase Briscoe and his Stewart-Haas Racing team Wednesday for a counterfeit part dropped Briscoe from 17th to 31st in the season standings. Briscoe now must win a race to have a chance at the playoffs.

The penalty came a day after NASCAR suspended Chase Elliott one race for his retaliation in wrecking Denny Hamlin in Monday’s Coca-Cola 600. Elliott is 28th in the points. The 2020 Cup champion also needs to win to have a chance to make the playoffs.

Ten drivers have won races, including Coca-Cola 600 winner Ryan Blaney. That leaves six playoff spots to be determined by points at this time. With 12 races left in the regular season, including unpredictable superspeedway races at Atlanta (July 9) and Daytona (Aug. 26), the playoff standings will change during the summer.

Among those without a win this season are points leader Ross Chastain and former champions Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Elliott.

Here’s a look at the Cup playoff standings heading into Sunday’s Cup race at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois. Drivers in yellow have won a race and are in a playoff position. Those below the red line after 16th place are outside a playoff spot in the graphic below.

NASCAR issues major penalties to Chase Briscoe team for Charlotte infraction


NASCAR fined crew chief John Klausmeier $250,000 and suspended him six races, along with penalizing Chase Briscoe and the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing team 120 points and 25 playoff points each for a counterfeit part on the car.

The issue was a counterfeit engine NACA duct, said Elton Sawyer, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, on Wednesday. That is a single-source part.

MORE: Updated Cup playoff standings

The team stated that it accepts the L3 penalty.

“We had a quality control lapse and a part that never should’ve been on a car going to the racetrack ended up on the No. 14 car at Charlotte,” said Greg Zipadelli in a statement from the team. “We accept NASCAR’s decision and will not appeal.”

Asked how then piece could have aided performance, Sawyer said Wednesday: “Knowing the race team mentality, they don’t do things that would not be a benefit to them in some way, shape or form from a performance advantage.”

The penalty drops Briscoe from 17th in the season standings to 31st in the standings. Briscoe goes from having 292 points to having 172 points. He’ll have to win to make the playoffs. Briscoe has no playoff points at this time, so the penalty puts him at -25 playoff points should he make it.

Briscoe’s car was one of two taken to the R&D Center after Monday’s Coca-Cola 600 for additional tear down by series officials.

The penalty comes a day after NASCAR suspended Chase Elliott one race for wrecking Denny Hamlin in last weekend’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

NASCAR Championship Weekend returns to Phoenix in 2024


Phoenix Raceway will host the championship races for the Cup, Xfinity, Craftsman Truck and ARCA Menards Series in 2024, NASCAR announced Wednesday.

The races will be held Nov. 1-3, 2024. The Cup season finale will be Nov. 3, 2024. The only other Cup race for 2024 that has been announced is the Daytona 500. It will be held Feb. 18, 2024.

Phoenix Raceway has hosted the championship finale for Cup, Xfinity and Trucks since 2020. Chase Elliott won the Cup title there in 2020. Kyle Larson followed in 2021. Joey Logano won the crown there in 2022.

This year’s Cup finale at Phoenix will be Nov. 5 and air on NBC.



Drivers to watch at World Wide Technology Raceway


After the fireworks from the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR heads to World Wide Technology Raceway, a 1.25-mile speedway just outside of St. Louis. Sunday’s race (3:30 p.m. ET on FS1) marks the second time the Cup Series has raced at this track.

Much is at stake. The race to win the regular season championship has intensified. Tempers are high. The pressure to make the playoffs builds. Ten drivers have wins this season. Twelve races remain in the regular season.


Kyle Larson

  • Points position: 11th
  • Best finish this season: 1st (Richmond, Martinsville)
  • Past at WWTR: 12th last year

While a driver coming off back-to-back finishes of 20th or worse might not seem like a frontrunner, it actually does make Larson one. His topsy-turvy season has seen him place outside the top 10 in back-to-back races four times. In the three previous times he had consecutive finishes outside the top 10, he came back to finish second, first and second. Can he keep that streak going this weekend?

Bubba Wallace

  • Points position: 15th
  • Best finish this season: 4th (Las Vegas I, Kansas I, Coca-Cola 600)
  • Past at WWTR: 26th last year

Wallace has scored three consecutive top-five finishes, his best streak in his Cup career. He has climbed from 21st to 15th in the standings during this run.

William Byron

  • Points position: 3rd
  • Best finish this season: 1st (Las Vegas I, Phoenix I, Darlington I)
  • Past at WWTR: 19th last year

Byron has finished no worse than seventh in the last five races. He’s led nearly 20% of the laps run during that time. Byron has averaged nearly 47 points a race during that streak.


Corey LaJoie

  • Points position: 20th
  • Best finish this season: 4th (Atlanta I)
  • Past at WWTR: 36th last season

NASCAR’s one-race suspension to Chase Elliott gives LaJoie the chance to drive a Hendrick Motorsports car for the first time. This will be the best car LaJoie has driven in his career. Many eyes will be on him to see how he does.

Ross Chastain

Chastain has finished 29th and 22nd in the last two points races. He’s not gone more than three races without a top-10 finish this season. After his struggles last weekend at Charlotte, Chastain saw his lead cut to one point over Coca-Cola 600 winner Ryan Blaney in the standings. Five drivers are within 17 points of Chastain in the season standings.

Aric Almirola

  • Points position: 26th
  • Best finish this season: 6th (Martinsville I)
  • Past at WWTR: 5th last year

Almirola has finished 13th or worse in all but one race this season for Stewart-Haas Racing. In the five races since placing sixth at Martinsville, Almirola has finished an average of 21.0.