Gordon Going for Elusive Win at Texas
- Mar 27, 2003
- 24 Team
JUSTIN, Texas (March 27, 2003) – After a less than “Gordon-like” beginning at Texas Motor Speedway, Jeff Gordon hopes to build on two consecutive top-five finishes at the 1.5-mile oval and notch his first NASCAR Winston Cup Series victory at the track in Sunday’s Samsung/Radio Shack 500.
Gordon, a four-time Winston Cup champion and winner of 61 career races, typically fares well at “new” tracks. In seven inaugural races since Gordon joined the tour in 1993, he and the No. 24 DuPont team have three wins (Indianapolis, California and Kansas City) and four top-10 finishes.
Though Gordon has posted two top-fives in his last two races at Texas, including a second-place finish last year, he finished no better than 25th in his first four.
“The last two years we’ve finished with the fenders intact on the DuPont Chevrolet and we have two good finishes to show for it,” Gordon said. “We run well at tracks like Texas and we had some good runs here early. The problem was I qualified poorly and got caught up in some wrecks.
“There was only one groove early on and I think everyone was fighting for the preferred line. Last year, we started to see the beginning of a second groove develop. I’m eager to see what it will be like this time and the years ahead.”
Gordon enters the seventh race of the season 10th in points, 241 points behind leader Matt Kenseth. Even though they were 10th one year ago, the driver feels that the No. 24 team is well ahead of last year’s pace.
“Our performance seems to be better this year,” Gordon said. “It seems like we are leading more laps and are much more of a threat early on this season. Last year, we were racing hard just to break into the top 10 and the top five. I think a lot of that had to do with our qualifying effort.”
A win this Sunday would extend a record Gordon currently holds. He has won on 19 of the 23 tracks currently on the schedule—a feat no one else has accomplished. Texas, Chicago, Phoenix and Miami are the only tracks where he has yet to visit Victory Lane in a Winston Cup car.
“I want to win Texas and add to that record because that record belongs to the team,” Gordon said. “It shows that the team has really done their homework throughout the years, from preparing the cars at the shop to communication throughout the weekend to adjusting on the car during a race. It doesn’t matter if it’s a superspeedway, short track or road course, this team has proven it’s a winner.
“We want to win every race, but I think the DuPont team puts a little extra emphasis on those four tracks. I think they want to prove to themselves that the track hasn’t got the best of them.”