ANOTHER WIN FOR TEAM DUPONT IN ATLANTA'S 'FIRST' NIGHT RACE? HAMPTON, Ga. (September 1, 2009) - With a "Chase" spot secure entering Sunday's Pep Boys Auto 500, Jeff Gordon and Team DuPont are searching for a win in Atlanta Motor Speedway's...
ANOTHER WIN FOR TEAM DUPONT IN ATLANTA'S 'FIRST' NIGHT RACE?
HAMPTON, Ga. (September 1, 2009) - With a "Chase" spot secure entering Sunday's Pep Boys Auto 500, Jeff Gordon and Team DuPont are searching for a win in Atlanta Motor Speedway's "first" night race.
For a second time.
In November of 1998, Gordon and the No. 24 team put an exclamation point on their third NASCAR Cup Series championship with a win in the rain-delayed, rain-shortened season finale run well into the Georgia night. The win "under the lights" marked Gordon's 13th of the season - tying him with Richard Petty for most victories in one season in NASCAR's modern era (1972 - present).
"We've already raced here under the lights, but that wasn't scheduled to be a night race," said the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion. "This place is so fast with multiple grooves that it tends to have great racing. It's just a spectacular track to race in general.
"Under the lights, even more so." In 34 career starts at Atlanta, Gordon has four wins, two poles, 14 top-fives and 22 top-10's. In his last eight races at the 1.54-mile facility, the driver of the No. 24 DuPont
Chevrolet has seven top-10 finishes with a 5.875 average finish.
"I always look forward to our visits here because I think it's one of our best tracks," said Gordon. "And we have the luxury of knowing our spot in the 'Chase' is secure, so we can gamble - if needed - to go for the win and the 10 bonus points."
Gordon's lone win - so far - in 2009 occurred in the Lone Star State, and that assures the No. 24 Chevrolet Impala SS driver at least 10 bonus points entering the
"Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup." Following race No. 26 at Richmond International Raceway on September 12, points will be reset for the 12 participating "Chase" drivers with an additional 10 points given for each win accrued to that point.
"Wins and bonus points are all we have to gain right now, other than maybe a little bit of momentum," said Gordon. "And wins definitely provide huge momentum. These last two races before the 'Chase' starts offer us two more opportunities to collect bonus points.
"And it also gives us the opportunity to show the competition that we'll be a threat to win the championship."