Jeff Gordon's Chase Hopes Up In Smoke After Engine Expires In Kansas Race

Jeff Gordon suffered a rare engine failure at the worst time.

Gordon's Hendrick Motorsports engine expired with just two laps to go in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway, relegating the driver to a 34th-place finish.

It was just his second engine failure since 2008, but it may have blown up his 2011 championship hopes. Thanks to the motor problem, Gordon is now 10th in the standings and 47 points behind Chase leader Carl Edwards.

"Our day was pretty much over anyway, and we were going to finish maybe 15th or something," Gordon said after climbing from his car. "Right there I started (smelling) what smelled like burning oil and I saw the oil temp start to come up. I felt like it was just a matter of time before it blew up."

Before the engine blew, Tony Stewart had put Gordon three-wide on a restart and drove him all the way down to the apron – which Gordon said "ruined our day right there."

"He did what he had to do," Gordon said. "It messed us up."

Of course, the motor problem made that a moot point.

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