Loudon: Jeff Gordon preview

LOUDON, N.H. - Jeff Gordon wants to tie a record on Friday, and then finish what he started last year when the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series visits New Hampshire International Speedway for the Siemens 300 this Sunday. Gordon, who has won four ...

LOUDON, N.H. - Jeff Gordon wants to tie a record on Friday, and then finish what he started last year when the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series visits New Hampshire International Speedway for the Siemens 300 this Sunday.

Gordon, who has won four consecutive poles in NASCAR's top division, will look to capture his fifth straight pole on Friday. If he does, Gordon will tie a modern-era record (1972 - present) currently held by Cale Yarborough and Bobby Allison. Yarborough won five consecutive poles in 1980 while Allison won five straight in 1972.

"This streak is pretty amazing considering how competitive our sport is right now," Gordon said. "It will be tough because this track is such a challenging, flat track.

"Our first challenge will be to get through qualifying on Friday." Next on the agenda will be the race on Sunday. Last year in two events at NHIS, Gordon posted finishes of 24th and 19th. Neither finish was indicative of how well he actually ran during the 300-lap events.

"I thought we had the car to beat during the first event last year," said Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet. "In fact, it was one of the best cars I've ever had here.

"We didn't pit with about 100 to go because we weren't in our fuel window, yet. Other teams did pit, and many of them made it to the end.

"When we made our final stop, I restarted so deep in the field that I used up my car battling for 20th."

In the September event held here, Gordon was running second when he stopped - for what was supposed to be his final stop - for a 'splash' of gas on lap 276. After the completion of pit stops, he had once again moved up to second before running out of gas two laps from the end. He finished one lap down after coasting onto pit road on the white flag lap.

"Those two races were disappointing, but hopefully we've learned from them," said Gordon. "We haven't had the finishes we would have liked here recently, and we need to turn that around."

In eight events from 1997 to 2001 at the 1.058-mile track, Gordon won two times and finished no worse than sixth. In five races since, he has not finished higher than 14th.

Overall, Gordon has three wins, eight top-fives and 10 top-10's in 18 starts at the New England track. He has led the most laps in six events and has led 1,046 laps, the most of any driver. He has won three poles and has a 9.7 average starting position.

"There are a lot of ups and downs in our sport," Gordon said. "Right now, we're riding the 'qualifying wave' for all it's worth. As for racing at NHIS, I guess we found the wave we were looking for.

"We just need to ride it to the end this time."

-pprplus-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Bobby Allison , Cale Yarborough