|New Hampshire Power Rankings|
|Solace and championship aspiration would seemingly be hard to find in a race where a driver had a faulty alternator, changed batteries -- therefore losing his access to air conditioning in mid-July -- and then sustained a late-race tire failure, possibly as a result of not being able to use brake blowers. But Jeff Gordon was seeing kernels of glory in the chaff after finishing 11th on Sunday at New Hampshire.|
"Oh, my goodness! What didn't happen today?" Gordon pondered. "It was a pretty crazy day for us, but certainly [there is] a lot to smile about with how great our car was. My goodness, the car was so good. I could tell at the beginning of the race that we just had to be patient and try to get track position.
"You have to survive these races in a lot of different ways and we had a lot of obstacles thrown at us with the alternator issue, which caused me to have to turn my A/C off and brake blowers, which probably ultimately blew that right front tire there at the end. So it was a challenging day in a lot of ways. But it was certainly something. And we're excited about coming back here later in the year to this racetrack. Our car was fast."
In a race where both Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports teammate and five-time defending series champion Jimmie Johnson finished well despite travails, only Gordon left encouraged. Certainly some of that pertains to Johnson attempting to maintain a high standard of performance and Gordon groping to rekindle the championship form that marked his earlier career. Gordon has not won a title since 2001.
Watch Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart shine at Loudon finishing exactly where they started.
"From a performance standpoint I think today we showed everybody what we're capable of doing, and for that I'm very excited," said the four-time series champion, who is seventh in points with two victories this season. "I know the guys feel really bad about the issues that we had, but it was a great lesson for us to go through this and understand how to deal with it and how we reacted to it.
"I thought they did a great job getting the batteries in the car and switching back and forth to get through the rest of the race. There was no alternator basically and we still had a fast race car. ... You want to go through all your checkmarks for preparing for the Chase for the Championship to make sure when you get into the Chase, if you do, you don't have these kinds of issues."
Now on to the power rankings: