Gordon Wants 'Average' Finish at Kansas
- Oct 06, 2005
- 24 Team
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Oct. 6, 2005) - His 72 career victories ranks seventh all-time and only two other NASCAR drivers have won more championships, yet Jeff Gordon only wants to be “average” during this Sunday’s NEXTEL Cup race at Kansas Speedway.
Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolets, is the only NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver to post multiple victories at Kansas in its four-year history. Along with his two wins, the four-time champion has led the most laps (169) and is tied for most top-fives (three). Gordon’s average finish at the 1.5-mile track is 5.0.
“We’d like to have a top-five finish this weekend,” Gordon said. “Obviously, we want to win, but we’ve struggled on the mile-and-a-half and two-mile tracks this year. We need to get that corrected before next season.
“I’d prefer to be battling for a championship right now. Since we’re not, it gives us the opportunity to experiment and try different things without having to worry about points. We have four or five of these types of tracks coming up, so we’ll work on that part of our program and see if we can build momentum and consistency to carry over to 2006.”
At the beginning of the 2005 season, the No. 24 DuPont team ran well at tracks similar to Kansas. Gordon was running in the top five at California before he experienced engine problems with less than 10 laps to go and finished 30th. In the third race of the season at Las Vegas, he posted a fourth-place finish.
“We started out the year well, but you can’t take the competition for granted,” Gordon said. “And the setups are constantly changing.
“We may visit a track twice in one season and use two completely different setups. Teams are constantly searching for ways to get better and faster, and that means better downforce, better aerodynamics and better horsepower which alters the handling characteristics of the car.
“We’ve struggled with the handling this year but, if we hit on the setup and have a good run, it builds confidence. And confidence goes a long way in our sport.
“All it takes is one win or one strong run to start a snowball effect.”