NASCAR & Auto Racing

Gordon leads early, finishes fourth

RICHMOND, Va. - Jeff Gordon led the race-high 191 laps and had the best car by far early in Saturday night’s race at Richmond. But as he said, “If you’re not the car to beat at the end, it doesn’t matter.”

Gordon ended up battling Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart had in the final laps, and settled for a fourth-place finish.

Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson “took off there, but we were able to run (Earnhardt Jr.) down,” Gordon said. “Finally, I made a couple of efforts to get inside him. I thought I was faster when I got in front of him.

“I couldn’t get away and he was all over me. I don’t know if I wore the tires out. I wish we were battling up there for the lead.”