Chicagoland: Jeff Gordon preview

INTERMEDIATE TRACK 'BLUES' A THING OF THE PAST FOR GORDON? JOLIET, Ill. (July 8, 2008) - Saturday night, live, is the debut of the "Car of Tomorrow" (CoT) at Chicagoland Speedway, and Team DuPont does not want to experience intermediate track ...

INTERMEDIATE TRACK 'BLUES' A THING OF THE PAST FOR GORDON?

JOLIET, Ill. (July 8, 2008) - Saturday night, live, is the debut of the "Car of Tomorrow" (CoT) at Chicagoland Speedway, and Team DuPont does not want to experience intermediate track blues, brothers.

It has been an up and down year for Jeff Gordon on mile-and-a-half and two-mile tracks. At California, the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion led 68 laps en route to a third-place finish in the rain-delayed event. One week later, Gordon led 19 laps at Las Vegas before a frightening accident relegated him to a 35th-place finish.

In March at Atlanta, Gordon posted another top-five finish. One month later, he battled the handling at Texas, was involved in an accident and finished 43rd. At Lowe's in May and Michigan in June - two races where fuel strategy played an outcome in the final running order, Gordon had finishes of fourth and 18th, respectively.

"I thought we started out the year well with good runs at California, Las Vegas and Atlanta," said Gordon, who will drive a specially painted No. 24 DuPont/Nicorette Chevrolet Impala SS this weekend. "Texas, though, was probably the low point of the season for us.

"We ran terrible and I lost control of the car. When you go through those types of races, you look back at it and try to figure out how we could have improved and where we are missing something.

"Everybody's pretty tightly matched. Sometimes it might look like you're way off, but it could be something that's small that makes a big difference."

A difference Team DuPont hopes to find during a test this week in Kentucky. "I still don't feel like we've really figured out what we need to be battling for wins and leading laps, but we're working really hard on that," said Gordon, who has one win, one pole, four top-fives and five top-10's in seven starts at Chicagoland. "In terms of sheer speed, we still need to gain. But we feel like we have until September to make all those gains.

"We need to secure a spot in the Chase and then start off solid. We have a strong team - one that's capable of winning races anywhere.

"One that's capable of winning a championship."

-credit: mh

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon