Jeff Gordon's rough start to 2013 looked poised to turn around on Sunday at Bristol until a melted bead on his right front tire eliminated Gordon's chances for the win. And unfortunately for Matt Kenseth, it ended his too.
Gordon was leading the race on lap 391 and dove to the bottom line of turns 3 and 4 to pass a lapped car. But before he had the chance to make the pass, his right front tire failed and Gordon's car made a sharp right hand turn into the outside wall.
Second-place Kenseth was just behind Gordon, but unlike Gordon, he took the high line into turn three. That meant that he had nowhere to go when Gordon's car went careening in front of him and as Gordon smashed the wall, Kenseth rammed into the back of Gordon's car. Both drivers' days were done. Gordon ended up 34th. Kenseth was 35th.
Last year at Bristol, a tire doomed Gordon's hopes as well, though that issue was spurred by contact with teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. Last year, Gordon left Bristol in 23rd in the points standings. This year, he's 21st, 76 points behind Brad Keselowski. After the crash, Kenseth fell to 13th in the standings.