TALLADEGA, Ala. - That's the trouble with choosing partners in the middle of a dance. Sometimes a quickie date doesn't work out quite the way you'd like.
In the closing laps of the Good Sam's Club 500 at Talladega, Jeff Gordon found himself in an unfortunate position: behind the wheel of a car with the capability to win the race, but without a partner to help push him. Mark Martin, his partner for the entire day, had just wrecked and taken out several drivers with him. And since the speed differential between single cars and two-car tandems was estimated at as much as 12 mph, Gordon needed a partner if he was going to have a prayer, and he needed one fast.
He and his team got on the mike to track down a replacement for Martin. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson were locked in together; Tony Stewart declined the invitation, as he was already in sync with Paul Menard.
But then Gordon connected with, of all people, Daytona 500 winner and Sprint Cup rookie Trevor Bayne.
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