GORDON WILL MISS KANSAS
KANSAS CITY, Kan.(April 17, 2012) - Two-time track winner Jeff Gordon has fared well at Kansas Speedway, but he knows the track just won't be the same anymore after this weekend's STP 400.
In 12 starts at the 1.5-mile Kansas track, Gordon has posted eight top-fives and nine top-10's. But those starts are on a surface that will be torn up following this weekend's event.
"I love Kansas and other worn-out tracks," said Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet. "We'll enjoy this final race on the old surface as much as we can.
"I think worn-out surfaces are the ones that put on the best show. I don't know anybody that's a real fan of a repave. The tracks don't want to incur the cost, but they know that it's necessary because of the structure of the pavement or the foundation underneath or whatever it may be that puts them into that box."
The 85-time winner may not want to see the old surface go, but the No. 24 team won on a new surface - on a new Kansas track - in the inaugural event in 2001. The team visited Victory Lane again at the facility one year later.
"For whatever reason, we have run well here since the beginning," Gordon said. "We won the first two races and, even though we experienced engine issues in the fall, we ran well in both races here last year. And I think our cars are even better this year."
Of the drivers with more than one start at Kansas, Gordon is tops with an average starting position of 10.3. However, Kansas is one of only four tracks where Gordon has yet to win a pole (Las Vegas, Kentucky and Miami are the other three). And qualifying is an area the No. 24 needs to improve upon in 2012.
"We definitely have to work on our qualifying and start more toward the front," said Gordon, whose 18.6 average starting position this season ranks 23rd. "We're not qualifying [well] enough in my opinion.
"But our cars are really good in the race."
And Gordon is really good at Kansas.