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National Guard joins Gordon in Texas

FORT WORTH, Texas (April 3, 2009) – Of the 81 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories Jeff Gordon has accumulated during his racing career, he has yet to reach Victory Lane at two tracks on the active Cup schedule—Texas Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Gordon, however, will look to conquer these two tracks one step at a time, starting this weekend as the Sprint Cup Series circuit heads to Texas Motor Speedway. The Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway airs live on FOX this Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Gordon, who enters the weekend leading the driver standings, has scored six top-five finishes, eight top-10s, one pole position and has led a total of 341 laps in 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at the 1.5-mile oval. His average start there is 10.4, and his average finish is 16.1.

Last November, Gordon earned his first pole position at the racetrack, when he lapped the field in 28.652 seconds at an average speed of 188.469 mph. During the race, Gordon led the first 15 laps and went on to claim second. The finish matched his career-best at the track, which he recorded April 8, 2002.

“Without a doubt, Texas has always been a thorn in our side,” said Steve Letarte, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevy. “We sat on the pole there in the fall. We thought we were going to win on fuel mileage. We’ve had cars good enough to win at Texas in the past—we can never seem to break through. We’ve been good; we just haven’t been great so we’re hoping this weekend will be a little bit better.

“We have the National Guard on board again this week so we want to try to get the DuPont/National Guard GED Plus Chevy in Victory Lane. That would be a great place to break the drought. We’ve never won there. If we could win there, that would be a huge momentum builder for the rest of the season.”

This weekend, Gordon will pilot the No. 24 DuPont/National Guard GED Plus Chevrolet, marking the second of eight times this season that the National Guard will adorn the hood and recognize its community initiatives. Gordon’s next National Guard-sponsored race will be at Darlington (S.C) Raceway on May 9.

“This weekend in Texas, we are recognizing the GED Plus program on the hood of the No. 24 DuPont/National Guard Chevy,” Gordon said. “This particular program allows non-high school graduates the opportunity to gain a GED for free.

“By helping these students through this program, the National Guard is providing them with the hands-on training they need to increase their chances of being employed later on in almost any job market.” 

The program’s courses take three weeks, and the soldiers enlisted under the program receive hands-on training, earn a monthly paycheck and gain valuable experience that will increase their employability in the private sector. Soldiers in the GED Plus program have the opportunity to select from more than 200 Military Occupational Specialties in which they can become skilled. Visit www.NATIONALGUARD.com/JeffGordon for more information.

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