Sunday not ‘best of days’ for Jeff Gordon and his crew at Michigan

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Pit road proved to be a maze of misery for Jeff Gordon during Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway.

He was forced into a curb on the outer portion of pit road by Ryan Blaney early in the race and had to return to pit road when his pit crew did not tighten enough lug nuts on his left front tire later in the event.

The result was a 21st-place finish, marking Gordon’s fourth finish outside the top 10 in the last six races.

“We have not had the best of days,’’ Gordon said when the race was stopped for the final time by rain after 138 of 200 laps. “Our car was pretty good, but we had an issue on that green flag stop and went down a lap. Things didn’t go very well on that restart.”

Gordon returned to the pits on Lap 91 so his crew could tighten his left front wheel after not all the lug nuts were tightened the previous lap. He had been 15th but dropped to 38th and one lap down after returning to the pits. He didn’t have a chance to get his lap back before the rain ended the race.

Gordon ranks third among winless drivers in points. That’s important to consider since last year only the top three winless drivers in points made the Chase.

Gordon leads Paul Menard, who ranks fourth in the standings among winless drivers by 13 points. Menard gained 13 points on Gordon on Sunday.