Dover II: Jeff Gordon preview

WILL HISTORY REPEAT FOR TEAM DUPONT? DOVER, Del. (September 18, 2007) -- It's happened before. Jeff Gordon finished second at New Hampshire International Speedway -- tying him for the points lead -- en route to the NASCAR Cup Series championship.

WILL HISTORY REPEAT FOR TEAM DUPONT?

DOVER, Del. (September 18, 2007) -- It's happened before. Jeff Gordon finished second at New Hampshire International Speedway -- tying him for the points lead -- en route to the NASCAR Cup Series championship. While that scenario occurred during his fourth championship season, Gordon and Team DuPont hope history repeats this year. In 2001, Jeff Gordon posted a second-place finish at NHIS that placed him into a tie with Dale Jarrett atop the standings. One week later, Gordon took over sole possession of first -- a position he never relinquished that championship season.

But that was before the advent of the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, and before 12 drivers had a realistic shot at the title with nine races to go. "Back then if you were having a good year, you were probably racing four or five guys for the championship at the halfway point of the season," Gordon said. "With about 10 to go, it was down to maybe two or three drivers. You would keep an eye on them during a race, and you might adjust your strategy based on what they were doing.

"You can't do that now. With 12 drivers racing hard for the title, you can't focus on what the other Chase drivers are doing. We'll just focus on our own program and try to get the best finish -- and most amount of points -- that we possible can on a given day.

"That's why I think it's more difficult to win the championship under this format, but also why I think it's probably more rewarding." At Dover International Speedway, site of this Sunday's Dodge Dealers 400, Gordon has collected four wins, three poles, 13 top-fives and 18 top-10's in 29 starts. In June, Team DuPont finished ninth in the rain-delayed race -- the first "Car of Tomorrow" (CoT) event held at the one-mile track.

"We've performed well in the CoT races, but that was probably our worst showing in the Impala," Gordon said. "Dover is a high-speed, banked concrete track, and it's very challenging to get the correct combination in the setup. "But we're learning more and more about the CoT with every race we run, so we're hoping to be more competitive this time around."

DuPont is headquartered in Wilmington, Del., and Gordon hopes to give the many DuPont employees and customers in attendance something to cheer about on Sunday. "We're definitely going for wins during the Chase, and I love to get one here for them. But wins won't necessarily determine the champion. "You must have the consistency during this stretch, as well."

-credit: hm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett