Gordon Needs Near-Perfect Race at Richmond
- Sep 09, 2005
- 24 Team
RICHMOND, Va. (Sept. 9, 2005) – For Jeff Gordon to contend for a NEXTEL Cup title this season, he will need everything to “go right” during Saturday night’s Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway.
The four-time champ will also need a little help from his competitors.
Gordon, who tested the .75-mile track last week, currently sits 12th in the standings, 30 behind the 10th and final championship transfer spot.
“Our work is definitely cut out for us,” said Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolets. “We need to have a great car, great pit stops, great pit strategy and great communication throughout the weekend.
“Basically, everything needs to go right for us to have a chance. Even if everything goes right for this DuPont team, we’ll still need some help to make the Chase.
“We have a brand new car for this race, and I thought the test went really well. We’ll work during Friday’s practice session to see if we can make it even better.”
Positions nine through 12 in the standings are separated by only 40 points, or approximately 10 finishing positions. With five bonus points available to a driver that leads a lap and an additional five bonus points awarded to the driver who leads the most laps, Gordon wants to lead early—and often.
“We’d like to have a good qualifying run so that we can lead a lap early and not have to worry about those points,” Gordon said. “And if the car is handling well, I’d like to keep it out front as long as possible.
“With so much on the line, we’re all going to be racing hard for every position. You can race side-by-side lap after lap here, but it’s still a short track and anything can happen.”
In 25 starts at RIR, Gordon has two victories, four poles, 10 top-fives and 16 top-10s. A third win at the short track may have the 72-time race winner battling for a fifth championship.
“I didn’t want to be in this position,” Gordon said. “We still have a chance and we plan to make the most of it.
“We’re not giving up until the checkered flag waves.”