GOOD YEAR? IT'S BEEN OKAY, BUT TEAM DUPONT LOOKING FOR CONSISTENCY BRISTOL, Tenn. (March 11, 2008) - It has been a roller coaster year so far for Jeff Gordon. Heading into Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, the four-time NASCAR...
GOOD YEAR? IT'S BEEN OKAY, BUT TEAM DUPONT LOOKING FOR CONSISTENCY
BRISTOL, Tenn. (March 11, 2008) - It has been a roller coaster year so far for Jeff
Gordon. Heading into Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion wants to capitalize on strong performing race cars with more consistent quality finishes. In the season-opening Daytona 500, Gordon posted a 39th-place finish following a suspension part failure. Team DuPont rebounded the next week at California, finishing third.
After a frightening wreck at Las Vegas left him 35th in the final order, Gordon secured his second top-five finish of the 2008 season at Atlanta last weekend. But the two DNF's (Did Not Finish) are double the number Team DuPont suffered in 2007.
"I guess we can be somewhat happy with our points position considering we've had two bad finishes," said Gordon, who is 15th in the standings. "And I guess we can be happy that each time we've had a bad finish, we've come back to post a good one.
"That's a positive, but I'd prefer the poor finishes be limited - and rare.
"We've had competitive cars in the first four races, so the performance has been there," said Gordon, who has led at least one lap in each event and whose 3.8 average starting position tops the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. "We just need to have some consistency to go along with it.
"We need that if we're going to challenge for a Chase spot and the championship, and I'd like to start building on that this weekend."
In 30 starts at the high-banked short track, Gordon has five wins, five poles,12 top-fives and 18 top-10's. In 15 spring events, he has a 5.5 average start, a 9.9 average finish and has been running at the finish in 13 races at the newly upgraded track.
"From a driver's perspective, I thought they did a great job with the changes," said Gordon. "The configuration and the transitions in and off the corners are phenomenal.
"They basically gave us more room to race here, and I think you could see that in the race last August. I had never seen so much racing all over the track.
"I didn't think you could make Bristol any cooler or any more fun, but they did."