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Gordon Makes Up Ground at Infineon

SONOMA, Calif. (June 23, 2003) – Jeff Gordon saw the NASCAR Winston Cup Series event at Infineon Raceway as an opportunity to make up ground in the 2003 championship race. On Sunday, he did just that, moving up one position in the driver standings after finishing second at the 1.949-mile road course.

The performance marked Gordon’s ninth top-10 finish of the season and vaulted him past Dale Earnhardt Jr. to second in points while cutting leader Matt Kenseth’s margin by 49 markers.

Driving the No. 24 Dupont Chevrolet, Gordon battled race-winner Robby Gordon throughout the final laps.

“We’ve got a points battle on the line here,” said Jeff Gordon, who started eighth. “I thought, ‘If I get a really clean shot, we’ll take it.’ I ran all over him, hoping he’d make a mistake, but he didn’t.”

The four-time Winston Cup champion is just 174 points behind Kenseth after 16 of 36 races.

Jimmie Johnson, Gordon’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate, finished 17th in the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevy after starting 37th at Infineon on Sunday.

Earning 112 championship points, Johnson remains seventh in the overall driver standings.

After starting 23rd in the No. 5 Kellogg’s / got milk? Monte Carlo, Terry Labonte fought handling problems for much of the afternoon, finishing on the lead lap in 25th.

The two-time Winston Cup champion held steady at 15th in series points, 142 behind 10th-place Sterling Marlin.

Joe Nemechek finished 35th after starting 21st in the No. 25 UAW-Delphi Chevrolet on Sunday, slipping two positions in the standings to 20th.

Following a much-deserved off-weekend, the NASCAR Winston Cup Series will next visit Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway on July 5 for the Pepsi 400. Live coverage of the race will begin at 7 p.m. ET on MRN Radio and NBC.

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