This is a summary. To read the whole story subscribe to BostonGlobe.com
LOUDON, N.H. — When he hopped out of his No. 24 Chevy a week ago at Chicagoland Speedway, celebrating a sixth-place finish in the first race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Jeff Gordon was a man playing with house money.
Two weeks ago, he wasn’t just on the verge of narrowly missing the Chase, he was being blocked out altogether.
If Michael Waltrip Racing had had its way, Gordon’s season would’ve essentially been done after the Federated Auto Parts 400 in Richmond.
But NASCAR penalized MWR for manipulating that race, added Gordon as a special 13th driver in the Chase because of the Richmond shenanigans, and now that Gordon’s inside, the four-time Sprint Cup champion sees an opportunity to win his first title since 2001.