GORDON MORE THAN A RACE 'UP' HALFWAY TO CHASE LONG POND, Pa. (June 1, 2010) - Despite four finishes of 20th or worse in the first 13 races of the 2010 season, Jeff Gordon is fourth in the point standings and more than a race 'up' in the battle...
GORDON MORE THAN A RACE 'UP' HALFWAY TO CHASE
LONG POND, Pa. (June 1, 2010) - Despite four finishes of 20th or worse in the first 13 races of the 2010 season, Jeff Gordon is fourth in the point standings and more than a race 'up' in the battle for a coveted "Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup" berth entering Sunday's Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500 presented by Target at Pocono Raceway.
Gordon, who is tied for the series lead this season with five top-five finishes, holds a 217-point advantage over 13th-place halfway to race No. 26 - the final race that determines the 12 driver "Chase" field. With 195 markers the most available to a race winner, that gap provides security heading into the track with the moniker "The Tricky Triangle."
"This is a fun and challenging track for the drivers, the engineers and the teams," said the driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet. "It has three very unique and challenging corners, and I think that is what makes Pocono so special." In 34 starts at the 2.5-mile track, Gordon has four victories, two poles, 16 top- fives and 24 top-10's. He heads the all-time lap leaders list at the Pennsylvania track with 879 - nearly twice as many as the nearest competitor in this weekend's event. And being out front can allow a driver to focus on the racing line and not the competition.
"The Tunnel Turn (turn 2) is one of my favorite turns that we race on during the year, but it's also one of my least favorites," said Gordon. "It's such a short but really fast corner. When you hit it right, it's just so incredible and such a great feeling. "It's such a thrill to go through there. (more)
"But when you hit it wrong you lose so much momentum and time, and you're hitting the steering wheel because you messed it up."
According to the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, turn 2 is not even the most difficult corner on the track.
"The most challenging one is probably the third turn," said Gordon. "It's just really flat, really fast and really difficult to get right.
"A really good exit is needed because it's the corner that leads onto the long frontstretch."
It is also the final corner before the checkered flag.