Dover: Jeff Gordon preview

Gordon hopes to repeat dominating performance for Dupont's 200th Anniversary. DOVER, Del. - Dominating. That one word sums up Jeff Gordon's performance in the MNBA Platinum 400 at Dover International Speedway last year. He led 381 of 400 laps...

Gordon hopes to repeat dominating performance for Dupont's 200th Anniversary.

DOVER, Del. - Dominating.

That one word sums up Jeff Gordon's performance in the MNBA Platinum 400 at Dover International Speedway last year. He led 381 of 400 laps en route to his fourth career NASCAR Winston Cup victory at Dover.

However, last year wasn't his first dominating performance at the 1.0-mile, high- banked concrete oval track. In the fall of 1995, Gordon led 400 of 500 laps to record his first victory at Dover. In the spring of 1996, Gordon continued his dominance by leading 307 of 500 laps for his second of three straight victories at Dover. Two years later in 1998, Gordon led 375 of 400 laps but finished third after pitting for gas with only a few laps remaining.

Of his 18 career Winston Cup races at Dover, he has finished outside of the top 11 only five times. Overall he has four wins, two poles, nine top-five and 12 top-10 finishes.

"Last year we had such a great car that we wanted to be out front and stay there," said Gordon. "That was the best car that I've ever had here because I could go out and lead even when the tires were down - when typically we'd be spinning out.

"I love racing at Dover, but it's tough. This place chatters because of the concrete and that little bit of chatter really plays havoc on the grip the tires have on the racetrack and especially the shocks.

"There is no easy way around Dover. It's so hard to get the balance right at this track. Last year we bounced back and forth between tight and loose all day."

DuPont headquarters are located in nearby Wilmington, Del., and in honor of the company's 200th anniversary, Gordon will be driving a celebratory paint scheme that signifies DuPont as a leader in science for 200 years. It is the same paint scheme that the No. 24 team debuted earlier this season during Daytona Speedweeks.

"The support we've received over the years from all the DuPont customers and employees is amazing," said Gordon. "It also helps to have one of the world leaders in science behind you."

So far in 2002 Gordon has seven top-10 finishes and is currently fourth in the Winston Cup point standings, 191 behind leader Sterling Marlin. He is currently enduring a 20-race winless streak, the longest of his career since he won his first race in 1994.

"We're still within striking distance for the championship," Gordon said. "And I couldn't think of a better time or place to turn around our winless streak than in front of all the DuPont fans at Dover on their 200th anniversary."

-hm/dupont-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Sterling Marlin