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Team DuPont eyes fourth straight top-five at Pocono

LONG POND, Pa. (June 3, 2008) - Following three consecutive top-five finishes, defending Pocono 500 champion Jeff Gordon has gained seven positions in the driver standings. Now sixth entering this Sunday’s 500-mile event at Pocono Raceway, Gordon and Team DuPont are eyeing a fourth consecutive top-five finish –- at Pocono and on the 2008 season –- to further strengthen their position in the standings.

With 13 races completed and only 13 remaining before the field is set for the “Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup,” the driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet knows the job is only half-complete.

“Our goal each year is to be in the Chase,” Gordon said. “We’ve had an up-and-down season so far, but we’ve had a string of good finishes recently, and we need to keep building on that. While we were focused on the championship battle last year, the competition was able to focus on 2008 –- and that allowed them to get ahead of us a little bit. But, with the Chase, you can be a little ‘off’ right now and still be a threat for the championship.”

Gordon’s “off” year has produced two poles positions, tying him for the series lead, and six top- five finishes, which ties for second. His 40 bonus points for leading laps ranks fourth in NASCAR’s premier series this season.

“We’ve run well at some races this year like Darlington and Dover, but we still have some work to do,” Gordon said. “We just need to consistently run in the top five and keep making gains.”
At Pocono, Gordon has collected four wins, including a victory in last year’s rain-shortened event, two poles, 15 top-five finishes and 21 top-10s. Those statistics occurred during 30 races at the track, but Gordon said he felt like it was 1993 when he drove the “Car of Tomorrow” for the first time on the 2.5-mile layout during a test last week.

“I felt like a rookie during the test,” Gordon said. “The car was just not doing what I wanted it to do. “But I have confidence in my team, and they have confidence in me.”