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Gordon Eying Two-for-Two at Kansas

 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Sept. 25, 2002)—After a run of bad luck, Jeff Gordon will look to get back to his winning ways as the NASCAR Winston Cup Series rolls into Kansas Speedway for the Protection One 400 on Sunday.

Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, won the inaugural event at Kansas Speedway last season en route to his fourth Winston Cup championship. It was his fourth victory in inaugural races of the nine that have been added since his rookie year in 1993.

“My secret is a team led by (crew chief) Robbie Loomis,” said Gordon. “They put incredible race cars underneath me. One thing that they’re extremely good at is getting a lot of good information when we go to a new track and adapting quickly to a new environment.

“Last year the fastest way around the track was along the bottom, but I think we may see an outside groove start to come in this weekend.

“This facility is top notch,” he continued. “It’s one of the best tracks that we go to and they do a great job of taking care of not just the competitors but the media and the fans as well. This place is like a fine wine, it’s only going to get better with age.”

Gordon will need a strong finish this weekend in order to keep his hopes of winning his fifth Winston Cup championship alive.

After notching back-to-back wins at Bristol, Tenn., and Darlington, S.C., and jumping to second in the Winston Cup point standings, Gordon’s luck took a turn for the worse. He hasn’t managed to finish in the top-10 in the last three races. A broken cam shaft sidelined Gordon early at Richmond, Va., relegating him to 40th, and he finished 14th at Loudon, N.H. This past Sunday at Dover, Del., he was caught up in an accident on Lap 66 and finished 37th.

With two wins, eight top-five and 14 top-10 finishes this season, Gordon is currently fifth in the point standings with eight races remaining. He trails leader Mark Martin by 190 points.

He and the No. 24 team will have to bring their “A” game and a little luck to Kansas City, Kan., this weekend. Martin, Tony Stewart and Sterling Marlin, who are ahead of Gordon in the point standings, each finished in the top-10 in this event last year.

“We’re working really hard for this race,” Gordon said. “We’re doing some things in the wind tunnel and these guys are working their tails off to get our aero package better at these bigger tracks.

“But if there is one thing that I can count on about this team (it’s) that they are going to fight until the end. There is absolutely no let-up in these guys.”

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