AT BRICKYARD, 600 'AND WON' FOR GORDON? INDIANAPOLIS. (July 20, 2010) - With 600 consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts now in the history books, can Jeff Gordon find the magic to win Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway?...
AT BRICKYARD, 600 'AND WON' FOR GORDON?
INDIANAPOLIS. (July 20, 2010) - With 600 consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts now in the history books, can Jeff Gordon find the magic to win Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway? Team DuPont might just have something up its sleeve to get that that record-tying fifth victory at the famed speedway.
Open-wheel greats Rick Mears, A. J. Foyt and Al Unser, Sr, hold the record for most Indianapolis 500 wins with four while Gordon is the only four-time winner of the annual NASCAR race at the 2.5-mile track. Seven-time Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher is the only driver to record five victories here - all on the road course.
"I'm never one to compare what we've been able to accomplish to what those guys have done," said Gordon. "I don't think you compare stock car statistics to open- wheel statistics here.
"There is so much history, and I used to dream of racing here. I looked up to guys like Mears, Foyt and Unser while growing up in nearby Pittsboro, and I have the utmost respect for what Michael (Schumacher) has accomplished in racing. "Those guys are all legends."
If not already, Gordon may be close to earning legendary status at the Indiana track. In addition to most NASCAR wins at the track, Gordon has earned three more top-fives (9) and three more top-10's (13) than his closest competitor. Additionally, he has the most poles (3) and laps led (440; 223 more than second on the list) in 16 NASCAR starts.
"You must have the car really balanced out well, and it's tough to do because you have four unique corners," said Gordon, whose 10 top-fives in 2010 are two more than any other driver. "Even though they look the same and appear to be the same shape, they're all different.
"You're trying to figure out the best combination for the long straightaways and the corners. You want the car to get down the straightaways good, but you also want to have downforce in the car for the grip needed to get through the corners. That is something you will see a lot of teams working on throughout the weekend."
While Sunday's event is one of 26 to determine the 12-driver "Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup," it is hardly just 'another' race.
"Everybody goes all out for this event," said Gordon, who is second in the standings and 103 points out of the lead. "I believe this DuPont team has a great package for this event. We've been working really, really hard on every aspect to find speed.
"We've got some things up our sleeve for Indy."