Phoenix II: Jeff Gordon preview

TEAM DUPONT NEEDS TO AVOID 'HUNDREDS' OF CLOSE CALLS AT PIR AVONDALE, Ariz. (November 10, 2009) - Only two races remain in the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. According to Jeff Gordon, hundreds of "whew" moments remain, as well. Gordon,...

TEAM DUPONT NEEDS TO AVOID 'HUNDREDS' OF CLOSE CALLS AT PIR

AVONDALE, Ariz. (November 10, 2009) - Only two races remain in the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. According to Jeff Gordon, hundreds of "whew" moments remain, as well.

Gordon, who gained 80 points on the lead in Texas due to Jimmie Johnson's accident early in last Sunday's race, now sits third in the standings and 112 behind his Hendrick Motorsports teammate heading into Sunday's Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 presented by Pennzoil at Phoenix International Raceway. First and foremost on Gordon's mind is avoiding the many pitfalls that can occur during a race weekend.

"A lot can happen in these final two races," said the driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet. "There are hundreds of moments that you have as a team every single weekend that maybe don't materialize, or that don't get seen by the public or even the media. But we see it. There are close calls all the time, and it can happen at any time.

"I get through every race and think, 'whew, we survived this moment or that moment.'"

Gordon has fared well at the Arizona track, collecting one win, three poles, eight top-fives and 15 top-10's in 21 starts at the one-mile facility. There have been "highs" at the track including his first win at Phoenix in 2007, and there have been "lows" for the No. 24 Chevrolet Impala SS team including a 25th-place finish in April after losing a lap due to a pit road penalty. This Sunday, Gordon and Team DuPont are in search of another peak performance in The Valley of the Sun.

"Phoenix has certainly been on our radar because it's a track that's been hit or miss for us," said the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion. "I'm a little disappointed in how we performed earlier this year, and we certainly need to improve on that this weekend.

"A lot still has to happen if we are going to realistically battle for the championship in the season finale. But we need to make sure we do everything in our control to secure as many points as possible this weekend." Which entails surviving hundreds of 'whew' moments.

-credit: hm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon
Teams Hendrick Motorsports