ANOTHER TOP-FIVE RUN AT NHMS? GORDON SECONDS THAT LOUDON, N.H. (June 24, 2008) - The number of laps in this Sunday's LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) has increased by one since last year, and Jeff Gordon hopes...
ANOTHER TOP-FIVE RUN AT NHMS? GORDON SECONDS THAT
LOUDON, N.H. (June 24, 2008) - The number of laps in this Sunday's LENOX
Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) has increased by one since last year, and Jeff Gordon hopes to do "one" better than his 2007 results at the 1.058-mile oval.
In 2007, both events at NHMS were 300-lap races, and Gordon posted runner-up finishes in each. Can the four-time NASCAR Cup champion get the extra position with one additional lap?
"We had two good runs here last year," said Gordon, who trailed winner Denny Hamlin across the line by 0.068 seconds in the first race at NHMS in 2007. "That extra lap sure would have been nice then.
"I don't think it would have made any difference in the second race. Clint Bowyer had us covered in that one.
"This has been a good track for us in the past, so that gives us some confidence heading into this weekend. But we can't rely on the past. We have to go out there and make it happen on Sunday."
In 26 career starts at the New Hampshire track, Gordon has three wins, three poles, 12 top-fives and 15 top-10's. He has led 1,141 laps here, and led the most laps on six different occasions.
Last Sunday at Infineon Raceway, Gordon finished third - his 325th career top-10 finish in 525 starts. It also marked his fourth top-five finish in the last six races, moving the driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet from 13th to sixth in the point standings during that stretch.
"We've put some top-fives together - some of them were earned with a good car and some were earned with strategy of some sort," said Gordon. "The DuPont crew has been amazing in the pits and my crew chief, Steve Letarte, has done a great job calling the races.
"We just need to work on getting the car to do what I need it to do to go faster."
With 10 races remaining before the 12-driver field is set for the "Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup," there is still work to be done before Team DuPont can challenge for their fifth championship.
"A lot can happen in 10 races, so we need to focus on making the Chase," Gordon said. "We tested this week hoping to find that little bit of extra speed, and hopefully what we learned will translate into us being more competitive in the races.
"If we secure that Chase spot, then it's a whole new game."
And for the driver that finished runner-up in the 2007 standings, "one" better at the end of the season is what he is after.