Gordon, meanwhile, dropped to 10th in points after his engine failed at Kansas. He opened the Chase ranked second in points and had many fans convinced he'd compete for his fifth championship — 10 years after he won his fourth.
Gordon blamed the engine failure on a scuffed piston. It was his first engine problem for Hendrick Motorsports since last year's season finale.
Although he was confident he'd have no further issues, an oil light flickered during Thursday night's qualifying and Hendrick engineers were under the hood Friday checking everything possible.
But Gordon said he has to look forward.
"You don't let it linger long. We have already moved on from (Kansas)," Gordon said. "We are here in Charlotte, just focused on this race. It doesn't matter if we won that race in Kansas or if we had the disappointing finish that we did have. You have to start focusing on the next race and we have already done that. You learn from it, you try to grow from it, you go to the next race and try to be even better."
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