Team DuPont looking to mix new with old at Watkins Glen
- Aug 12, 2007
- 24 Team
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 12, 2007) – Jeff Gordon’s 2007 season looks much the same as it did in 2001 when heading into Watkins Glen, leading the points and having won four races. However, the difference with this season compared with ’01 is the “Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup,” the “Car of Tomorrow” and a five-race winless drought at Watkins Glen.
Five races remain until the “Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup” begins, and Gordon needs only to start those five events to guarantee himself a spot in NASCAR’s version of the playoffs. In fact, if Gordon finishes 12th or better at Watkins Glen, he will clinch a berth into the “Chase.”
“We are having a great season and we need to keep this momentum up,” Gordon said. “Your whole momentum can shift right at the beginning of the ‘Chase.’ We just need to continue to bring good race cars and finish consistently in order to carry over that momentum to the last 10 races.”
The Car of Tomorrow has been good to Team DuPont, which has an average finish of 3.6, including two victories, in the boxier and safer Chevrolet Impala SS. The same car that Gordon used to pick up 34 positions en route to a seventh-place finish at Infineon Raceway in June, may be what he needs to get back to his “old” Watkins Glen ways on Sunday.
“We used to have some great success at the Glen,” Gordon said. “We got a little behind these past few years, but the two-day test that we had last week at Road Atlanta should really help us get back to the old advantages we used to have here.”
Those “old advantages” led to four wins, six top-fives and an average finish of 8.2 in Gordon’s first nine starts at Watkins Glen. Since his victory in 2001, Gordon has finished no better than 13th with an average finish of 20.6 here. In fact, Gordon—who holds the record for all-time road course victories with nine—has only won twice on a road course since that ’01 season.
“I feel really good about our car this weekend,” Gordon said. “I feel like we are going to be strong after all the testing we have done.
“We are fully committed to getting back to where we used to be on road courses and gain much-needed bonus points for victories before the ‘Chase’ beings.”
Gordon also hopes that his season looks much the same as 2001 when he leaves Watkins Glen with another win at the 2.45 road course en route to another NASCAR Cup Series championship. This time, NEXTEL Cup style.