Gordon in Right State of Mind as Series Visits California SONOMA, Calif. - After three disappointing finishes in the past four NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races, Jeff Gordon sees this Sunday's Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway as the perfect ...
Gordon in Right State of Mind as Series Visits California
SONOMA, Calif. - After three disappointing finishes in the past four NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races, Jeff Gordon sees this Sunday's Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway as the perfect opportunity to "bounce back."
Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, has finished 30th or worse in three of the last four races and has fallen to sixth in the point standings, 287 out of the lead. His success at Infineon - and in the state of California - has him looking to revive the consistency it takes to contend for a championship.
"I'm definitely not happy with the inconsistency of our finishes recently," Gordon said. "Except for Charlotte, we've been performing well as a team. We just don't have the finishes to show for it.
"All we can do is keep fighting and hope that things come around for us. We're going to have to bounce back from it and get some consistency, and Infineon is the perfect opportunity for us to do that."
In 11 career starts here, Gordon has posted three wins, three poles, seven top-fives and eight top-10's. He has led 269 laps - the most of any driver - and has led the most laps five times.
The native of Vallejo, Calif., has fared well in his home state, posting six wins in 19 races at California Speedway and Infineon. He has finished in the top five in 12 events (63 percent) and has led 679 laps (22 percent) in the Golden State.
"I really enjoy the trips out to California," Gordon said. "Los Angeles is a great city to visit when we race in Fontana, and I love the trip to Sonoma because I grew up in the Bay Area.
"The success we've had in California makes it that much more fun to visit each time."
Gordon, who is the all-time NASCAR Cup Series leader in road course victories with seven, won six consecutive road course events beginning with the 1997 event at Watkins Glen International and ending with the 2000 event at Infineon.
"Our road course program was strong during that stretch," Gordon said. "It's still strong, but other teams have stepped up their programs. You can't 'throw away' the two road course events if you expect to compete for the championship."
Gordon has the edge when comparing road course statistics to the other drivers currently in the top 10 in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. In 22 career road course starts, Gordon has seven wins and 13 top-fives. The other nine drivers currently in the top 10 have combined for two wins and 14 top-fives in 78 starts between them.
"We can't and won't worry about those teams and what they're doing," Gordon said. "We need to focus on our team and having the best result possible.
"We know we're capable of winning this race. We just need to run like we've been running and, hopefully, things will go our way."