Jeff Gordon’s gas man goes for a ride as the four-time Cup champ exits the pits

From the Marbles

Sunday was a rough day on pit road for Jeff Gordon and his crew.

Gordon had driven up to as high as fifth after starting 21st, and during his third stop of the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway, the team wanted to make sure that the car was packed full of fuel. When, as customary, Gordon accelerated out of his pit when the jack on the left side of the car was dropped, gas man Brad Pickens still had the fuel can engaged in the car.

As Gordon pulled away, Pickens went for a scary tumble as the fuel can finally disengaged after Gordon sped off. However, the can -- and Pickens -- went outside of Gordon's pit box. That meant a penalty, and Gordon was forced to serve a stop-and-go penalty under green.

Then, as the race was under caution for rain, Gordon pitted from a lap down in 17th. On that final pit stop, a tire got away from the crew, relegating Gordon to 26th.

Unfortunately for Gordon, mistakes and mishaps have overcome fast race cars through the first five races of the season. Thanks to Sunday, a blown engine at Daytona and a cut tire at Bristol, Gordon is in 25th, already 91 points behind points leader Greg Biffle.

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