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Gordon at home at Martinsville Speedway

 

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (March 24, 2009) - Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, could consider Martinsville Speedway his home away from home.

That’s because Gordon, who currently sits atop the driver standings by 76 points, has collected seven wins, seven pole positions, 20 top-five finishes and 26 top-10s in 32 starts at the .526-mile racetrack. Going into Sunday’s Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500, Gordon has recorded eight straight top-fives and only has three finishes outside the top 12.

What’s his secret?

“You must have a lot of patience here,” said Gordon, who posted his 250th career top-five finish last Sunday. “Just to run a single lap by yourself, you have to be patient and not overdrive the car. And you certainly need to be more patient when it comes to traffic.

“From an observer’s vantage point, it’s probably just one constant flow of cars. But for me, it’s just that one, two or three cars ahead of me that I’m focusing on. You get into such a rhythm and such a zone here—it’s amazing on how you block out how much traffic there really is. I don’t even think about there being 40 cars on the track.”

However, according to Gordon, a crucial part of the weekend occurs when there is only one car on the track.

“With pit stall selection based on the qualifying results, posting a good effort on Friday helps your chances tremendously on Sunday,” Gordon said. “There are only a handful of pit stalls here worth having. “Pit stall number 1 is the obvious choice, and there is another one on the front straightaway that has an opening (in front of the stall). You can also make pit stall no. 2 work, but you are always going to be concerned about the car pitted ahead of you.

“I think a lot of our race success can be attributed to our qualifying success. It’s certainly not impossible to get a win or a good finish when starting outside the front row.”

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