Gordon Going for Three in a Row
- May 12, 2004
- 24 Team
RICHMOND, Va. (May 12, 2004) – The veterans are back.
Joey Sindelar won the Wachovia Championship last Sunday in Charlotte, N.C., scoring his first PGA Tour win since 1990, and Rusty Wallace ended his 105-race winless streak with a NEXTEL Cup victory at Martinsville last month.
Four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon has also gotten into the act, posting consecutive victories at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and California Speedway.
Many of the “young guns” were favored heading into 2004, but as Gordon’s 12th full Cup Series season takes shape, his performance has many considering him a favorite for the 2004 title.
In the last five races, he has marched his way from 13th to third in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series championship standings, just two points behind second-place teammate Jimmie Johnson and 27 back of leader Dale Earnhardt Jr.
“It’s been an amazing four or five races that we’ve had,” said Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet. “It makes me really proud to get behind the wheel of that car when you know what you’ve got.
“This team is just awesome. These guys never give up. They just work so hard.”
And the recent domination on the track doesn’t stop with Gordon’s back-to-back victories.
Even with untimely circumstances at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, Texas Motor Speedway and Martinsville Speedway taking away his chances at three additional wins, Gordon is the only driver to post eight top-10 finishes this season, including three top fives.
In Darlington, a lapped car took him out of contention, leaving him with a 41st-place finish after having one of the fastest cars. Then the bad luck followed Gordon to Texas, where he led 47 laps only to have the alternator on his Chevrolet drain the primary battery along with his chances for another victory.
And who can forget Martinsville, where he led the most laps and was in prime position for a trip to the Winner’s Circle when a piece of concrete from the track struck his car, which ultimately kept him from contending at the end of the event.
With back-to-back victories and momentum on his side, Gordon will head to Richmond International Raceway, a track where he has a pair of first-place finishes, 14 top-10s and four pole positions. Coming off two straight wins, he goes to the .75-mile track vying for a “three-peat,” something he last accomplished in 1998.
“Richmond has always been a good track for us,” Gordon said. “We only have two wins here, but as long as we’re running at the finish, we always seem to be in contention.
“A lot of that success may be due to the fact that I really enjoy racing here. If I built a track, I would model it after this one. It’s a great facility that offers great racing with more than one groove. You can race side-by-side here, lap after lap, and the fans really seem to love it.
“But at the checkered flag, you’re hoping the side-by-side racing is in your rear-view mirror.”