It wasn't that long ago people were wondering if Jeff Gordon was all washed up.

Well, looks who's in contention for a Sprint Cup championship.

Gordon heads into Sunday's race at Talladega Superspeedway fourth in the points and hoping to take advantage of a perilous track where the standings can change in a hurry.

He's still a bit of a long shot, with Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson holding down the top two spots. But just the fact that Gordon is being mentioned as a championship contender is rewarding to the 43-year-old driver, who hasn't won a title since 2001 and figures it's been a half-dozen years since he made a serious run at the top spot.

Gordon says he doesn't "have the words to describe how much it would mean."