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Gordon hopes to end win drought this weekend

BRISTOL, Tenn. (August 19, 2008) - Five-time Bristol Motor Speedway winner Jeff Gordon won four consecutive spring races from 1995 to 1998 at the 0.533-mile track, but his last win here occurred in 2002.

That victory ended a 31-race winless streak, and a win six years later could end a similar drought.

It has been 28 races since Gordon last visited Victory Lane —at Charlotte in 2007. The 81-time winner is ninth in the point standings, however, and 82 points ahead of 13th with three races remaining before the 12-driver Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field is set.

Team DuPont is determined to go all out to earn a spot in the Chase, beginning with Saturday night’s Sharpie 500.

“We had a great car at Michigan, but obviously did not get the result we were looking for,” said Gordon, who finished 42nd after a cut tire sent the No. 24 car into the Turn 2 wall. “We dropped positions in the standings, and now we have to enter the next few races with a different mindset.

“Before, we were in a position where taking risks wasn’t an option. We had a pretty comfortable margin on the transfer spot, and we didn’t want to jeopardize that. We’re not in that position anymore, so now we must go all out and see where we end up.”

Along with his five victories, Gordon has five pole positions, 12 top-five finishes and 18 top-10s in 31 starts at the high-banked short track. But the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion has yet to finish in the top 10 since changes to the track were introduced before this race last year.

“We haven’t been as good here since they re-did the track, but I do like what they’ve done,” Gordon said. “I’m looking forward to the race, and I’m confident this DuPont team will perform better.

“Bristol used to be a one-groove race track where it was a little bit of Russian roulette. But now, we’ve got multiple grooves and I love it. I think the racing is three times better. Crashes don’t happen as much. You’re still going to see them but not as often as you used to. When it was a one-groove track, drivers would get frustrated with the car in front of them and just take them out. And that’s not racing, in my opinion – it’s more bumper-cars.

“Now, we’re going to Bristol, and we’re racing.”