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New Hampshire Marks New Season for Gordon

LOUDON, N.H. (Sept. 12, 2003) – After recording a 10th-place finish at Richmond, Va., last weekend, Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, will leave this season’s misfortunes behind to focus on winning one race at a time, starting with Sunday’s event at New Hampshire International Speedway.

With finishes of 24th or worse in six of his last eight races, Gordon has lost 428 points to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series points leader. He now sits fifth in points and trails first by 593.

However, the No. 24 DuPont team is approaching the remaining 10 races of the 2003 season, and its 18th start at NHIS, with a fresh perspective.

“It’s a 10-race season for us right now, and we need to make the most of it,” Gordon said. “We could look at the last couple of weeks and focus on losing a lot of points, but we’re not. Our focus is on New Hampshire and the upcoming races, not the past.”

Despite the recent statistics, Gordon’s performances at NHIS speak for themselves. He has competed in each of the 17 Cup races held there and has visited Victory Lane three times in 1995, 1997 and 1998.

Gordon and Jeff Burton hold the honor of being the only multiple winners at New Hampshire. If Gordon wins this weekend, he will tie Burton with four wins.

In addition, Gordon has three pole positions (1998, 1999 and 2001) and eight top-fives—leading all drivers in both categories. He has also recorded 10 top-10s at the 1.058-mile track.

“We’ve won races here where we’ve just out-strategized them on a two-tire stop,” Gordon said. “We’ve had races here where we just flat out-ran them.

“I haven’t really been very good on flat tracks throughout my career, but this is one flat track where I’ve been pretty good.”

At NHIS, Gordon has led a total of 1,045 laps, leading at least one lap in 11 of the 17 Cup races. Together with Burton (605 laps), the two have controlled 33 percent of the 4,980 laps raced there.

On four occasions in 2003, Gordon has led the most laps without reaching Victory Lane, including Richmond, both Bristol, Tenn., events and the July race at NHIS where he recorded a 24th-place finish.

“We were really disappointed with our finish because that was one of the best cars we’ve ever had,” Gordon said. “We were so strong throughout the race and we led most of the race. Finishing so poorly was disheartening.

“We’re using the same car that led so many laps here in July. We’re just hoping to lead the last one.”

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