Jeff Gordon - Daytona news

Two-Time Daytona 500 Champion Gordon Not Ready To Slow Down DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Dec. 13, 2001) -- Last week, Jeff Gordon was jogging at a leisurely pace through the streets of Daytona Beach carrying the Olympic torch. Next month, Gordon...

Two-Time Daytona 500 Champion Gordon Not Ready To Slow Down

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Dec. 13, 2001) -- Last week, Jeff Gordon was jogging at a leisurely pace through the streets of Daytona Beach carrying the Olympic torch.

Next month, Gordon will be back at Daytona traveling considerably faster in his No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Chevrolet Monte Carlo during January testing at Daytona International Speedway.

After carrying the torch with the Olympic flame last week, Gordon made a brief stop at DAYTONA USA and expressed his eagerness to defend his fourth Winston Cup championship and capture his third Daytona 500 win on Feb. 17.

"I'm excited about it," said Gordon, who's scheduled to participate in the first Winston Cup test session at Daytona on Jan. 7-9. "Normally this time of the season I'm ready to take a rest and just sit at home and try not to think about racing. But right now, that's all I can think about.

"It's because of this team. This team has really stepped up to another level and I think they have another step left in them. As well as they came together this year, I think they're only going to mature and grow and get even better. That inspires me. I look forward to working with them and having another great year."

The 30-year-old Gordon says his off-season schedule will consist of handling some sponsorship duties and celebrating the holidays with his family.

"I've got some promotional things with Quaker State, Pepsi and Lowe's," Gordon said. "We've got a lot of photo shoots and stuff to get ready for next year and then Christmas and New Year's maybe we'll take some time to vacation."

Gordon is geared up about the 44th annual Daytona 500. He likes the new restrictor-plate rules package that NASCAR has instituted and he feels like he'll have more control over his destiny during the race.

"Once we get in the race, I'm going to enjoy it a lot more because I can play a larger role where we end up on Sunday," Gordon said.

Tickets for Speedweeks 2002 events can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.

-DIS-

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Series NASCAR-CUP