Team DuPont hopes for monster weekend
- May 27, 2008
- 24 Team
DOVER, Del. (May 27, 2008) - Jeff Gordon has had several monster weekends in DuPont’s backyard, and the four-time Dover (Del.) International Speedway winner hopes this Sunday’s Best Buy 400 provides another.
Gordon grabbed his first win at the one-mile track in the fall of 1995 in dominating fashion, leading 400 of 500 laps. In 1996, the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion led 510 of 1,000 laps en route to a sweep at “The Monster Mile.” Gordon’s fourth victory here occurred in 2001, when he led 381 of a possible 400 laps.
“It would be nice to have another race like that this weekend,” said Gordon, who has three poles, 13 top-five finishes and 18 top-10s in 30 starts. “Every weekend, our goal is to qualify near the front, run up front, lead laps and have a chance at the win. But this is a tough place to get around—it’s fast, and there’s always a lot of action.”
But dominance does not always end in victory. During his 13-win championship season of 1998, Gordon came close at Dover. After starting second, he led 375 of 400 laps before a late pit stop for fuel relegated him to a third-place finish.
“Fuel strategy can play a role in determining the outcome of a race, and we used it to our advantage last weekend in Charlotte,” said Gordon, who ran the final 62 laps at Lowe’s Motor Speedway without stopping en route to a fourth-place finish in the 600-mile event. “We needed track position during the race and could never seem to get it, so we decided to gamble.”
The result gave Team DuPont its second consecutive top-five finish. It also marked its third straight top-10 finish, a stretch of races that has moved Gordon up four positions to 10th in the driver standings.
“It’s been a battle,” Gordon said. “We fought back from a lap down at Richmond and Charlotte to get a good result. Hopefully, we can have another good finish this weekend. This is always a special race for this team. We want to run well since DuPont’s headquarters are located in nearby Wilmington. We’ll visit with many of the employees this Thursday and many of them will be at the track cheering us on. It’s our chance to thank them for all they do to support us.”