Jeff Gordon finished runner-up to Joey Logano on Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway, and increased his points lead to five over second-place Matt Kenseth. But Gordon would gladly exchange that lead for a couple of wins, as this season the emphasis is on winning and through nine races he remains winless.
"Normally I'd be ecstatic with leading the points and where we're at and consistency, but right now those wins are just so important," Gordon said. "I mean, I'd rather be 12th in points right now with three wins than be leading the points."
NASCAR at Richmond
NASCAR needs more short tracks
As Richmond demonstrated Saturday, of all the changes NASCAR could enact to improve competition the simplest would be adding more short tracks to the Sprint Cup schedule.
NASCAR at Richmond
That first win of 2014 nearly came in the Toyota Owners 400, as Gordon was part of a four-way fight for the lead with five laps to go that also included Logano, Kenseth and Brad Keselowski.
It was a fierce contest that saw race-leader Kenseth doggedly try and hold off Gordon and a charging Keselowski. But contact between the three opened the door for Logano, who took advantage of the circumstances to win his second race of the year.
"Joey was in the right place there," Gordon said. "He had a good short-run car, and we were battling it out. Matt was making his car really super-wide, which you've got to do to try to win, and we were just battling hard.
"It just didn't come down the way that we needed it to."
It's a familiar refrain from Gordon, who has been in position several times to win this season but has yet to do so. Certain victory slipped away from him at Fontana because of a late caution, and Logano passed Gordon for the win on the white flag lap at Texas.
Nonetheless, Gordon knows his team is close to breaking through.
"It's frustrating to not win," Gordon said, "but also each time we run this good, it builds more confidence and momentum that we're going to get that win soon. ... As good as we're running, I definitely feel like we can win races just about anywhere that we go."
Sprint Cup Standings
|5||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||309||-32||1|
|26||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||184||-157||0|
|27||Martin Truex Jr.||182||-159||0|