Gordon looks to end win drought at Darlington

DARLINGTON, S.C. - It has been seven races since Jeff Gordon visited victory lane. With 49 wins since the beginning of 1995, a seven-race losing streak seems like a drought. Gordon, driver of the DuPont Chevrolet, hopes to regain that...

DARLINGTON, S.C. - It has been seven races since Jeff Gordon visited victory lane. With 49 wins since the beginning of 1995, a seven-race losing streak seems like a drought. Gordon, driver of the DuPont Chevrolet, hopes to regain that winning form as the NASCAR Winston Cup Series visits Darlington Raceway for the Pepsi Southern 500 on Sunday. Gordon, who won each Southern 500 from 1995 to 1998, was one of several drivers in 1999 who elected to pit for new tires during a caution period caused by rain. This gamble proved costly as Gordon finished 13th in the rain-shortened event. "We really wanted to win that fifth race in a row last year," Gordon said. "We took a chance and pitted for tires and gas during the second-to-last caution, hoping it would put us in position to win. But we were also hoping the rain would hold off. Unfortunately for us, it didn't." Gordon's finish last year also ended a string of eight consecutive finishes of third or better at the track "too tough to tame." With eight top-three's in the last 10 races at Darlington, is he close to taming the famed speedway? "This place will never be tamed by a driver," Gordon said. "We've got a good car and setup that seems to work. But you must concentrate every second of every lap. When you lose focus is usually when you end up in trouble. "I like racing here because all the components of a race team have to come together to win. You must have good pit stops for track position. You need a good setup to get around this tricky track. And the driver must adapt to the changing conditions while keeping the car off the wall. "A lot of times the quick way around here is right next to the wall. One slip, or lapse in concentration, and you're in trouble." While Gordon experienced trouble early in his Winston Cup career at Darlington -- finishing outside the top 20 in four of his first five races -- his statistics still show five wins, three poles, eight top-fives, 10 top-10's and 764 laps led in 15 starts. Gordon wants to improve those numbers and turn around the bad luck that has plagued the team recently. "If we didn't have bad luck, we wouldn't have any luck at all," Gordon said. "I'm discouraged with our results in the past month. "But I would be more discouraged if we weren't running well. We've had good cars and strong runs. We've just hit a run of bad luck that will hopefully turn around this weekend."

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon