Gordon Road Ready at Watkins Glen
- Aug 15, 2004
- 24 Team
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 15, 2004) – With four wins in his last seven races at the twisting New York road course, Jeff Gordon is no stranger to Victory Lane at Watkins Glen International.
This Sunday, the all-time NASCAR leader in road course wins hopes to distance himself from the competition and capture a ninth career road course victory.
Gordon enters this weekend’s event with a lot of confidence after posting three wins and six top-five finishes in his last six races. The streak began at Infineon Raceway, the only other road course on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule, where he led 92 of 110 laps en route to victory. He followed that with a win in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona, the 20th time he has won back-to-back races during his 12-year career.
At Chicagoland, New Hampshire and Pocono, he finished fourth, second and fifth, respectively. Last Sunday in the Brickyard 400, he led 124 of 161 laps to become only the fourth driver with four wins at the historic speedway.
This six-week stretch has also enabled him to make a big jump in the championship standings. Prior to Infineon, Gordon was sixth, putting him 287 out of the lead. He now sits second and trails teammate Jimmie Johnson by only 97 points.
To put this in perspective, Gordon has earned 190 points more than any driver during that span. The most points you can earn during an event is 190. Essentially, he has gained one race on his competitors since the streak began.
“The reason things are going so well for us right now is a combination of things,” Gordon said. “We have good communication, this DuPont team is providing some great cars, and I feel like I’m on top of my game.
“When we get to the race track, we’re all happy to see each other and are looking forward to the race.”
Gordon is certainly looking forward to Sunday’s event at Watkins Glen. In 11 starts here, he has four wins, two poles, six top-fives and seven top-10s. He has an 11.7 average finish and a 7.6 average starting position.
He is also looking forward to erasing the memory of last year’s race. After setting a new track record during qualifying, Gordon suffered through “bookend” spins and finished 33rd.
“I feel like we had the best car here last year,” Gordon said. “I was taken out in the first corner on the first lap. After that, I ran a second a lap faster (than anyone else). Unfortunately, I ran myself out of fuel and then was spun while coasting to the checkered flag.
“You must take advantage of opportunities. If the car is capable of winning and you don’t win with it, you’re going to be disappointed. It’s all about taking a car that’s fast and capable of winning to Victory Lane.
“Anything else is unacceptable.”