NO SLOWING DOWN FOR GORDON AT RIR RICHMOND, Va. (September 7, 2010) - Entering Saturday night's Air Guard 400 at Richmond International Raceway (RIR), Jeff Gordon has posted seven consecutive top-10 finishes at the Virginia track including a ...
NO SLOWING DOWN FOR GORDON AT RIR
RICHMOND, Va. (September 7, 2010) - Entering Saturday night's Air Guard 400 at Richmond International Raceway (RIR), Jeff Gordon has posted seven consecutive top-10 finishes at the Virginia track including a runner-up finish earlier this year. But with a "Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup" spot already secured, Gordon is not planning on any "R & R" at RIR this weekend as he chases the final bonus points available to Chase participants.
Only one race remains before the 10-race playoff begins, and many eyes Saturday night will be focused on the race for the final 'Chase' spots. But the 400-lap event is still important to Gordon since the points for the 12 'Chase' participants will be reset following the event with 10 bonus points awarded for each win accrued to that point. Gordon has one more chance to gain valuable bonus points, and closing that gap is much easier if the No. 24 team has 'closed the gap' at RIR.
"I feel like Kyle (Busch) and Denny (Hamlin) run really, really strong here, but we definitely cut into that gap tremendously in the Spring," said Gordon, who will drive a specially painted No. 24 DuPont/National Guard Chevrolet this weekend. "I feel like we had a legitimate shot at winning that race.
"This is a very tough track, but I have confidence entering this event because we have run well here so many times."
In 35 starts at the three-quarter-mile track, Gordon has two wins (1996 and 2000), five poles, 14 top-fives and 23 top-10's. But it is not always easy to come to grips with the short track layout.
"This track is not easy to get a hold of," said Gordon. "You go from day to night because the race starts sort of in the early evening, but you still slip and slide around a little bit until the sun goes down.
"Then you have double-file restarts, which are tough at any short track. At a multiple groove track like Richmond, it's especially challenging."
And after Saturday night's event at RIR, there will be no rest or relaxation for the No. 24 team until the season ends - and they are hoisting the NASCAR Sprint Cup trophy?