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Gordon Hopes to ‘Tear Up’ Lowe’s Track

CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 12, 2005) - In May, Lowe’s Motor Speedway got the best of him. This Saturday night, Jeff Gordon hopes to tear up the track—and the competition—in the UAW-GM Quality 500.

Prior to the 600-mile event in May, a diamond grinder was used to smooth the racing surface, a process track president H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler described as “levigating.” During the race, Gordon’s No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet was severely damaged when a piece of the track sealer became dislodged and slammed into the nosepiece of his Monte Carlo.

After several pit stops during the caution period to repair the damage, the four-time champion recovered to lead the race with just over 100 laps to go. Unfortunately, Gordon was involved in an accident during the closing stages of the event and finished 30th.

“We’ve struggled on the mile-and-a-half and two-mile tracks this year, but we ran really well during the event here in May,” Gordon said. “I don’t know if it was due to the ‘levigating,’ but we really hit on something in our setup.

“I understand they did some more work on the track. It’ll be interesting to see how much it has changed since May.”

Last Sunday at Kansas, Gordon posted his first top-10 finish with new crew chief Steve Letarte, who took over the role four races ago. It also marked his first top-10 since Las Vegas in March on the one-and-a-half mile and two-mile tracks that have been the team’s Achilles Heel this season.

“It’s not often that I’m happy with a 10th-place finish,” Gordon said. “We ran well, made good adjustments on the DuPont Chevrolet and had good communication throughout the race.

“Unfortunately, we lost track position in the middle of the race and could never get it back.”

In 25 career starts at Lowe’s, Gordon has four wins, 13 top-fives and 15 top-10s. He leads active drivers with seven pole positions, including five straight in the 600-miler from 1994-1998.

Lowe’s Motor Speedway is also the site of several Gordon “firsts.” He won his first career NASCAR Cup Series pole there in 1993 and captured his first career win there in 1994.

If he tears up the track this Saturday like he has done in the past, it could be another first for Gordon.

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