Talladega: Jeff Gordon preview

Gordon not running for second-place at Talladega. TALLADEGA, Ala. - Jeff Gordon is not too concerned about where he qualifies for the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. He probably should keep an eye on how well Jeremy Mayfield does, ...

Gordon not running for second-place at Talladega.

TALLADEGA, Ala. - Jeff Gordon is not too concerned about where he qualifies for the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. He probably should keep an eye on how well Jeremy Mayfield does, though.

Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, has two victories at the 2.66-mile track with both wins occurring after Mayfield's only two poles at the superspeedway. Along with those two wins, Gordon has eight top-fives and 10 top-10's in 20 career starts.

"I'd like to start near the front, but qualifying well isn't that important at the restrictor-plate tracks," Gordon said. "We've won here starting up front and we've won here starting toward the back. With the way things shake up so quickly, you're probably going to spend time at some point racing from the back to the front.

"Up front, you hope to line up single file and limit the chances of becoming involved in the 'big one.' That's easier said than done as we don't seem to stay single file here for very long."

Last Sunday, Gordon moved up four positions to sixth in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings after finishing third at Texas. He and Dale Earnhardt Jr. staged a late race battle that Gordon hopes to repeat this weekend -- this time with different results.

"Junior and I had fun racing those last few laps at Texas, but I wish it had been for a win." Gordon said. "He and all the Dale Earnhardt Inc. cars run well at the restrictor-plate tracks, so Junior should be in contention at the end of this weekend's race.

"We haven't conceded the win to that group, though. We ran well at Daytona earlier this year but we were shuffled back right before the red came out. My teammate Jimmie (Johnson) had a chance at the win and finished in the top five.

"I think we have as good a shot as anyone. Ideally, I'd like all four Hendrick Motorsports cars to be in contention at the end."

Gordon, whose car will carry a special DuPont/Pepsi paint scheme this weekend, knows that deals will be made during the race -- and deals will be broken.

"All of the drivers and spotters will be making deals during the race on Sunday," Gordon said. "The problem is anticipating when a deal might be broken. I'll try and work with my teammates at Hendrick Motorsports and see if we can draft to the front.

"Even with teammates, deals may be broken if a win is on the line."

-hm/pprplus-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Gordon , Jeremy Mayfield
Teams Hendrick Motorsports