Jeff Gordon lamented losing out on a great opportunity to climb back into contention for the NASCAR Sprint Cup title following his 13th place at Texas.
The four-time champion was leading the race when series leader Jimmie Johnson hit trouble on the third lap, and Gordon looked set to be the main beneficiary of his Hendrick Motorsports teammate's misfortune.
It did not work out for Gordon, though, as he started to lose pace during the long green-flag runs, and would eventually drop out of contention for victory, struggling even to remain on the lead lap. Despite that, he was still able to save his day from getting worse by keeping his car in one piece as he spun trying to avoid a multi-car incident on lap 175 triggered by Juan Pablo Montoya and Carl Edwards.
Gordon, who won at Texas in April, was frustrated by being unable to come to terms with the track this time. "I think more than anything it was a missed opportunity," he said. "I'm just terrible at this place. I can qualify and the guys gave a real good car on Friday, but I just don't have the feel for this place. I don't know what it is. It just challenged us all day today.
"We seemed to be the best at the beginning of the race and we made some adjustments trying to make it better based on what I was telling them, and we just went backward from there and lost some track position. So it was a frustrating day. Kind of a more typical Texas day for us than what we had in April.
"It was a missed opportunity when Jimmie had trouble, so I'm bummed about that. [Crew chief] Steve Letarte did a great job getting us to 13th, the whole team did. Great call there at the end."
Gordon, who trails Johnson by 112 points, still has a mathematical chance of taking the title, although he could be left out of the fight following next weekend's race at Phoenix.