A top-five finish in the second-biggest NASCAR race of the year is usually a cause for celebration. But not so much if you're Jeff Gordon, who is in desperate need of a win and saw another potential victory slip through his fingertips on Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
"I'm pretty disappointed, really," Gordon said. "It's always nice to finish in the top five, but at this point in the season, the way our season has gone with so many missed opportunities that we've had, I feel like it was a little bit of a missed opportunity today."
RELATED: See the results from Sunday's Brickyard race here.
Considering where he is at in the standings, Gordon realizes that any result other than a win is all but meaningless. The only hope he has of making the Chase is by winning – something he is going to have to do twice in the next six weeks if he wants to qualify for the playoffs – and claim one of the two available wild card spots.
On Sunday, it was obvious that Jimmie Johnson had the car to beat. But the No. 24 car was no slouch either, never running lower than ninth. The problem was that on a day where track position is everything and on an oval where passing is limited, Gordon could never get ahead of his Hendrick Motorsports teammate.
Add everything up and it was another would've, should've, could've day in a season filled with them for Gordon.
"I thought we were as good as or better than Jimmie," Gordon said. "We just never could get in front of him. That's what it takes to win. You've got to get out front. Track position is very important here. We showed that we could run their pace, but we were always coming from behind."