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Creating Momentum is Gordon’s Goal at Phoenix

PHOENIX (Nov. 4, 2004) – Jeff Gordon wants to build momentum, but his teammate is the one that has it going into Sunday’s NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway.

Jimmie Johnson has won three consecutive races and currently sits second in the “Chase for the Championship.”  Currently third, Gordon wants the title to return to Hendrick Motorsports, and he wants to be the one who delivers it.

“As a teammate, it’s great to see Jimmie and the No. 48 team doing so well right now,” Gordon said.  “As a competitor, we need to stop his momentum and gain some of our own.

“The best way to do that is to win this weekend.”

Gordon is quite familiar with winning.  The driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolets has visited Victory Lane 69 times during his 12-year career in NASCAR’s premier series, but never at the flat Arizona track.  In fact, he has won at 19 of the 23 tracks currently on the schedule, a NASCAR record.

In 11 starts at the one-mile venue, Gordon has four top-fives and nine top-10s to his credit.  In the last 10 races at Phoenix, he has posted nine top-10s and only failed to complete three laps.

“We always seem to run well here, we just haven’t closed the deal,” Gordon said.  “I thought we had a great shot at winning here in 2002, but circumstances didn’t go our way.

“I was happy with our test here a couple of weeks ago, and I know the DuPont team is looking forward to the race.”

With only three races remaining to determine this year’s champion, five drivers are within 100 points of the lead.

“The ‘Chase’ has really tightened up, and I expect it to go down to the final race,” Gordon said.  “We haven’t run particularly well recently, yet we’re only 72 points out of the lead.

“The opportunity is still there. We just need to take advantage of it.”