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Gordon Leaning on Pocono History to Boost Season

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (July 24, 2002)—If history is any indication, Jeff Gordon is a virtual lock for a top-10 finish this Sunday in the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.

In 19 career races at the 2.5-mile superspeedway, Gordon has finished in the top 10 an amazing 14 times, including wins in 1996, 1997 and 1998. He’s also led 811 of a possible 3,800 laps (21.3 percent).

“I always feel relieved when we come to Pocono because I know that the DuPont Chevrolet will be fast right off the truck,” said Gordon. “We never have a problem with horsepower here, so all we really work on is getting through the three unique corners.”

Unique might be putting it mildly. Each corner has different degrees of banking and length, making Pocono one of the most difficult tracks to set up for in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.

“It’s definitely one of the most challenging tracks we visit,” said Gordon. “You might say it’s a combination of a road course and Indianapolis.”

Gordon and the DuPont team will be looking to get back on track after a disappointing 29th-place finish last Sunday at New Hampshire International Speedway. He is currently fifth in the point standings, 140 behind leader Sterling Marlin.

“We tried to play the track position game and it just didn’t work out for us,” said Gordon. “I think the best thing for us to do is put last weekend behind us and concentrate on getting another strong finish at Pocono.

“Even though we’re fifth in the points, we’re still within striking distance of first so we’re encouraged by that. This team knows what it takes to win a championship and I’m confident that it will all come together.”


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