Todd Gordon said he made a mistake in not bringing Joey Logano and his severe tire rub onto pit road late in Sunday’s race at Martinsville.
But on Tuesday’s NASCAR America on NBCSN, analyst Jeff Burton didn’t look at Gordon’s strategy as a mistake at all.
Burton said Gordon should be applauded for trying to get his driver a much-needed win — although it admittedly may have hurt teammate Brad Keselowski‘s bid for a win.
Burton pushed back against fans and others criticizing Gordon, saying:
“His decision was based on what was best for the 22 car. … They didn’t race each other that we needed to get the 2 in the playoffs, they raced each other as if we need the 22 car to win. Thank God for that, and thank Todd Gordon and Joey Logano to do things as a race team to do things for their own self. I applaud that. Could he have made a better decision for Penske? Of course he could. … They want to win races and contend for championships and put themselves in position.
“With the year they’ve had and all the disappointment, they had a win in right in front of them, and clearly with the tire rub, they weren’t going to make it. … But Todd Gordon had to go from ‘I have a chance to win this race’ to ‘my day is over’ and do it that quick and think about the 2 car. I think it is unreasonable to think he could make that decision that quick. Could he have done it? Yes. But the fact he didn’t do it, I’m fine with it.
“I understand the disappointment and the people on the 2 car … but he has to race for him, his sponsor, his crew members. Everybody needs to get off Todd Gordon. … What’s in the best interests of the fans? (Multi-car teams) operate together Monday through Saturday, but on Sunday, they operate as individual teams because you pay to go watch your driver, mash that throttle, to give 100 percent and that team give 100 percent and that’s what NASCAR races should be about. That’s my opinion.
“I know some people disagree and that’s fine. But I want each individual team digging for what they can get because that’s what the people pay to watch.”
Check out all of what Burton said in the video above.