When you have four Brickyard 400 victories under your belt, you obviously know how to get the job done. And in the closing laps of Sunday's race, it appeared veteran driver Jeff Gordon was going to score his fifth all-time victory at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Coming up perhaps just one lap shy of overtaking eventual race winner Paul Menard, Gordon at least fulfilled one of two goals – making a solid championship statement.
"While we didn't win, I think we definitely showed that we're a championship‑caliber team," Gordon said. "We've been knocking on the door, getting closer every single weekend, won a couple races. For me, this is going to be a huge boost for this race team and hopefully a bit of a statement to the competition as well that we're serious about our efforts at a championship this year.
"If we can run like we did today here at Indy, you know, I know we're capable of winning just about any place we go."
Gordon admitted it took him awhile to learn to communicate with crew chief Alan Gustafson, but as of late, things have really started to click.
That may be good news for the four-time Sprint Cup Series champion as he heads to six of his better tracks before the 2011 Chase field is set. Sitting seventh in points, Gordon has 22 combined wins at Pocono, Watkins Glen, Michigan, Bristol, Atlanta and Richmond.
Of course, that may be bad news for the competition.