Texas: Jeff Gordon preview

Texas victory has eluded Gordon. JUSTIN, Texas - After a less than "Gordon-like" beginning at Texas Motor Speedway, Jeff Gordon hopes to build on two consecutive top-fives at the 1.5-mile speedway and notch his first Winston Cup victory at Texas...

Texas victory has eluded Gordon.

JUSTIN, Texas - After a less than "Gordon-like" beginning at Texas Motor Speedway, Jeff Gordon hopes to build on two consecutive top-fives at the 1.5-mile speedway and notch his first Winston Cup victory at Texas in Sunday's Samsung/Radio Shack 500.

Gordon, a four-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion and winner of 61 Winston Cup races, typically fares well at "new" tracks. In seven inaugural races since Gordon joined the tour in 1993, he and the No. 24 DuPont team have three wins (Indianapolis, California and Kansas City) and four top-10 finishes.

In his first four races at Texas, he finished no better than 25th. In his past two races, he has two top fives including a second-place finish here last year.

"The last two years we've finished with the fenders intact on the DuPont Chevrolet and we have two good finishes to show for it," Gordon said. "We run well at tracks like Texas and we had some good runs here early. The problem was I qualified poorly and got caught up in some wrecks.

"There was only one groove early on and I think everyone was fighting for the preferred line. Last year, we started to see the beginning of a second groove develop. I'm eager to see what it will be like this time and the years ahead."

Gordon enters the seventh race of the season 10th in points, 241 points behind leader Matt Kenseth. Even though he was 10th one year ago, Gordon feels the No. 24 team is well ahead of last year's pace.

"Our performance seems to be better this year," Gordon said. "It seems like we are leading more laps and are much more of a threat early on this season. Last year, we were racing hard just to break into the top 10 and the top five. I think a lot of that had to do with our qualifying effort."

A win this Sunday would extend a record Gordon currently holds. He has won on a record 19 of the 23 tracks currently on the NASCAR Winston Cup schedule. Texas, Chicago, Phoenix and Miami are the only tracks he has yet to visit victory lane in a Winston Cup car.

"I want to win Texas and add to that record because that record belongs to the team," Gordon said. "It shows that the team has really done their homework throughout the years, from preparing the cars at the shop to communication throughout the weekend to adjusting on the car during a race. It doesn't matter if it's a superspeedway, short track or road course, this team has proven it's a winner.

"We want to win every race, but I think the DuPont team puts a little extra emphasis on those four tracks. I think they want to prove to themselves that the track hasn't got the best of them."

-pprplus-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth