Daytona a good luck charm for Gordon

Things are starting to get desperate for Jeff Gordon.

Jeff Gordon.
Photo by Kurt Dahlstrom.
The four-time champ has had such a string of bad luck lately that his fans have started to offer their help. They may not be willing to climb into the #24 Chevy, but they are getting creative with tokens that are intended to bring some good luck Gordon's way.

"We did an autograph session in Michigan and every other fan was giving me some kind of a lucky charm," Gordon said. "Somebody painted a horseshoe in DuPont colors like the race car. It started a couple of weeks ago in our offices and at our fan clubs. They're coming in pretty strong."

It's easy to see why the faithful are concerned.

Gordon has been freefalling in the point standings during the past month and is on the outside looking in for the Chase for the Championship.

Jeff Gordon.
Photo by Getty Images.
"This has definitely been a tough time for us," said Gordon, who has three wins this season, but has finished 30th or worse in five of the past six events. "We've been through tough times before even though we don't experience it very often. I think this team is really good at focusing on the next race and putting those other races behind us. We've had some bad luck. But I've always been a firm believer that you make your own luck and if we put ourselves in the position to run good and finish good, it's going to happen for us."

Gordon is in a great position to turn his team's fortunes around this week in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway (Saturday at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC). Gordon leads all active drivers with six Daytona wins, including last year's July race and the Daytona 500 in February.

"I'm definitely looking forward to Daytona," admitted Gordon, who went on a tear at this time last year, peeling off six straight top-5 finishes that started with back-to-back wins at Sonoma and Daytona. "One of these weekends it's going to get turned around. If it doesn't happen, you just put your foot forward and go to the next one. So this is definitely a good track for us and we've been strong there."

Jeff Gordon.
Photo by Bob Harmeyer.
Even though Gordon is out of the Chase for now -- he trails leader Greg Biffle by 414 points -- he knows that his team is capable of pulling off another hot streak like they enjoyed last summer.

"I feel like we're as good and as strong as any team out there," said Gordon, who also has wins at Martinsville and Talladega this year. "We've just got to get things going in the right direction and make some good decisions. We haven't really lost confidence - that's still there. The attitude of the guys is as good as it can be under the circumstances. So I don't think we're panicked or have lost control. There's definitely some frustration, but we're good at putting it behind us, and going to the next one. That's what we'll do this weekend."

While Gordon isn't quite ready to turn to the supernatural, he is hopeful of turning his fortunes around on the track and using the next 10 races to work his way back into the top-10.

"I'm not a big superstitious person who will do things differently to try to get things turned around," said Gordon. "I just know through hard work and smart decisions and by putting good race cars out there and working as a team that we will get it back. This team is so good with that. No matter how bad things get, they always stick together."