POCONO FINISH TO FUEL CHASE RUN FOR TEAM DUPONT? LONG POND, Pa. (July 28, 2009) - With a 486-point cushion over 13th-place in the standings entering Sunday's Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway, Jeff Gordon does not want to coast...
POCONO FINISH TO FUEL CHASE RUN FOR TEAM DUPONT?
LONG POND, Pa. (July 28, 2009) - With a 486-point cushion over 13th-place in the standings entering Sunday's Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway, Jeff Gordon does not want to coast into the "Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup." While a berth has not yet been secured with six races remaining to determine the 12-driver field,
Team DuPont's consistency could fuel a championship run in 2009. Gordon, who is currently third in the standings and 207 points behind leader Tony Stewart, has one win (Texas) and five second-place finishes this season. He has also posted top-five finishes in half of the 20 events contested in 2009.
"I feel like we've shown consistent strength all year long, and I think consistency right now is almost as important as momentum," said Gordon, who collected his 350th career top-10 last weekend with a ninth-place finish at Indianapolis. "I think momentum is really going to be key just prior to the Chase - who can get it prior to and through the first few races of the Chase.
"I believe that is what's going to separate the team - or the top teams - that will vie for the championship."
In his last two starts at Pocono Raceway, Gordon has failed to finish the race with fuel in the No. 24 Chevrolet. But he has two top-10 finishes to show for it - including a fourth-place finish here last month - in events decided by fuel strategy.
Overall, Gordon has four wins, two poles, 16 top-fives and 23 top-10's in 33 starts at the triangular 2.5-mile track. His 879 laps led are the most all time, 448 more than the closest active competitor.
"I'm always learning here," said Gordon. "With its three very different corners, it's a unique track that offers unique challenges we don't see anywhere else.
"As many laps and miles that I have driven around this track, I'm still trying to figure it out."
If Team DuPont figures out the "Tricky Triangle" on Sunday, it could be a spark to fuel another championship run for the No. 24 team.