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Gordon Guns for Road Course Sweep

 

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 12, 2006) – Already a winner at Infineon Raceway this year, Jeff Gordon has a chance to sweep the road courses in 2006 when the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series visits Watkins Glen International this Sunday.

Gordon, who holds a record nine career road course victories in NASCAR’s premier series, won seven before he captured his fourth championship in 2001.  And while NASCAR’s “King of the Road” has only won on the serpentine tracks twice since then, Gordon and Team DuPont have worked hard to regain that edge.

With only five races remaining before the “Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup” field is set, reaching the double-digit plateau in road course victories on Sunday would provide a boost as Gordon battles for one of 10 guaranteed spots in the Chase.

“We’re pretty excited about this weekend’s race,” Gordon said. “We’ve stepped up our road course program this year and we’re looking to be strong again.

“You can’t run the exact same setup as you do at Sonoma, but I think that we’ll be able to learn a lot from that race, which should improve our program here.

“This is a very fast road course. There’s some big, sweeping, fast right-handers, so you really have to have your car working well. But brakes are important as well, especially getting into the inner-loop after the long backstraight.”

In 13 starts at the 2.45-mile track, Gordon has recorded four victories, two poles, six top-fives and seven top-10s. His last victory, though, occurred in 2001. Since that win, he has run out of fuel on the last lap (2003), had transmission failure (2004), a flat tire and was penalized for pitting too soon under caution (both in 2005).

Last Sunday after a sway-bar arm became unhooked from the sway bar at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Gordon and Team DuPont battled back from three laps down to finish 16th. More importantly, they actually gained valuable championship points.

Gordon, who entered the event ninth in points and 50 ahead of 11th, exited Indy eighth in the standings, 52 markers ahead of 11th.

“I’m proud of the team for that comeback,” Gordon said. “They really showed that they’re a championship-caliber team with that effort.

“We were fortunate to make up those laps, but it was definitely frustrating to have such a good car but only have a 16th-place finish to show for it.

“It’s a tight battle for those last few positions in the Chase, and we can’t afford to have those types of problems.”

And a 10th at The Glen would move Gordon closer to securing one of the 10 spots vying for the championship.

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