Richmond: Jeff Gordon preview

Gordon looks for second consecutive trip to victory lane. RICHMOND, Va. - Jeff Gordon has visited victory lane numerous times during his 10-year NASCAR Winston Cup career but never as a 16th-place finisher. That changed last Sunday when...

Gordon looks for second consecutive trip to victory lane.

RICHMOND, Va. - Jeff Gordon has visited victory lane numerous times during his 10-year NASCAR Winston Cup career but never as a 16th-place finisher.

That changed last Sunday when Gordon congratulated Jimmie Johnson in victory lane after Johnson won his first career Winston Cup race. The win also marked Gordon's first win as a Winston Cup owner.

After this Saturday night's Pontiac Excitement 400 at Richmond International Raceway, Gordon hopes to make his second consecutive trip to victory lane. This time, he wants it to be as a driver.

"Richmond has always been a good track for us," said Gordon, driver of the DuPont Chevrolet. "We only have two wins here, but we always seem to be in contention.

"A lot of that success may be due to the fact that I really enjoy racing here. If I built a track, I would model it after this one. It's a great facility that offers great racing with more than one groove. You can race side-by-side here lap after lap and the fans really seem to love it."

In 18 starts at the 0.750-mile track, Gordon has four poles, nine top-fives (50 percent) and 12 top-10's (67 percent). His career statistics mirror those as he has amassed 149 top-fives (49 percent) and 195 top-10's (64 percent) in 303 career starts.

However, it has been 18 starts since his last victory the longest winless streak of his career since he won his first race in 1994.

"We've been competitive this year but things just haven't gone our way," Gordon said. "People keep asking if I'm concerned about how this season is going. I would be concerned if we weren't competitive.

"Last week, we were running in the top five when we had to pit under green to clear off a piece of plastic debris that was blocking the air flow into the grill. We had the power steering go out in Martinsville and I've been involved in accidents where we didn't do too much damage to the car but just enough to ruin our chances at victory.

"However, we're still seventh in points. If things start to go our way, watch out. It's too early in the season to surrender the championship.

"Considering the year Jimmie has had so far, maybe I'll have a shot at the championship as a driver and as an owner."

hm//ppr-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Jimmie Johnson