Dover: Jeff Gordon preview

TEAM DUPONT SET TO RACE PERFECT 'COT' IN DOVER DOVER, Del. (May 29, 2007) -- After a disappointing finish in last Sunday's race at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Jeff Gordon and Team DuPont enter this weekend's Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International...

TEAM DUPONT SET TO RACE PERFECT 'COT' IN DOVER

DOVER, Del. (May 29, 2007) -- After a disappointing finish in last Sunday's race at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Jeff Gordon and Team DuPont enter this weekend's Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway with a perfect car. Following his early exit due to an accident from Sunday night's race, Gordon's lead in the point standings dropped from a 231-point edge to 132 over teammate Jimmie Johnson.

Much of that lead, though, can be attributed to his success in "Car of Tomorrow" (CoT) races. In five CoT races, Gordon has two victories (Phoenix and Darlington), three poles and five top-fives. The chassis the No. 24 team will use this weekend, No 24-428, has been used once -- a victory from the pole at Phoenix. But the use of the CoT at Dover brings a lot of unknowns, especially this weekend with the cancellation of a test session here a few weeks ago.

"From a crew chief's standpoint, I would have preferred to test," Steve Letarte said. "But the crew has been working a lot of hours with two different cars, and it gave them some much needed time at home.

"Hendrick Motorsports is very well prepared and, between the four crew chiefs, I think we can make good decisions and enter this weekend competitive." In 28 career starts at Dover, Gordon has four wins, three poles, 13 top-fives and 17 top-10's. He has led the most laps on five occasions, including 400 of 500 laps in 1995, 375 of 400 laps in 1998 and 381 of 400 laps in 2001.

"We've had some strong runs here in the past, but we haven't experienced that in quite a while," Gordon said. "I'd like to lead a lot of laps again, but the most important thing is to be there at the end with a chance to win.

"And in both wins at Phoenix and Darlington, we didn't lead a lot of laps -- but we led the one that counted."

Prior to turning his first lap in the CoT at Dover, Gordon will spend Thursday at DuPont's headquarters in Wilmington, Del., visiting with some of his biggest fans and supporters.

"This sport is sponsor-driven, and I've been lucky enough to spend my entire Cup career with DuPont as my primary sponsor," Gordon said. "It's hard to believe it's been 15 years.

"They've been with me through the highs -- the wins and the championships -- and the lows, and they're a great partner.

"On Thursday, I get the chance to interact with the employees and thank them for their support."

On Sunday, he hopes to do it again from Victory Lane.

-credit: hm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Jimmie Johnson
Teams Hendrick Motorsports