All-Star: Jeff Gordon preview

Paint Scheme Could Lead to Reversal of Fortune for Gordon GORDON CONCORD, N.C. (May 16, 2006) -- Jeff Gordon has experienced many "firsts" at Lowe's Motor Speedway but he has not visited Victory Lane at the 1.5-mile track since 2001. This...

Paint Scheme Could Lead to Reversal of Fortune for Gordon

GORDON CONCORD, N.C. (May 16, 2006) -- Jeff Gordon has experienced many "firsts" at Lowe's Motor Speedway but he has not visited Victory Lane at the 1.5-mile track since 2001. This Saturday night, Gordon hopes to reverse that recent trend with a record- breaking win in the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge -- a "non-points" event that is essentially winner-take-all. Gordon, who is currently tied with the late Dale Earnhardt for most victories in this annual event with three, will look to break the tie in a specially painted No. 24 DuPont Performance Alliance Chevrolet. The paint scheme will have the familiar "fire and flames" design, but the primary colors will be reversed.

Along with three wins in this event, Gordon also has two Busch Series victories, four NEXTEL Cup wins and one NEXTEL Open victory at the North Carolina track. He won the first pole of his NASCAR Cup Series career at LMS in 1993 and secured his first victory in NASCAR's premier division the following year in the 600-miler. In 1995, he won all three segments en route to capturing his first victory in NASCAR's annual all-star event. "I've been fortunate to win this event three times," said Gordon. It's a great format, it's under the lights, and it's all about winning. "Nobody remembers who finished second.

"This race has produced some great memories for me. In 2001, we won the race in a backup car after wrecking on the first lap in the rain. To go from the 'low' of wrecking before we even completed a lap to the 'high' of winning in a backup car was incredible. It was an amazing sight to see all the teams from Hendrick Motorsports -- not just the DuPont team -- pitching in to prepare the backup car for the race."

But, for Gordon, his most memorable moment in the annual event occurred in 1995. "Winning all three segments in the Jurassic Park car is definitely the highlight," said Gordon, referring to the specially painted DuPont/Jurassic Park No. 24 car he raced that night.

"Even though we won the first two segments, the last 10 laps are usually crazy -- and they were. "On the restart, we were three-wide with Dale Earnhardt on the inside and Darrell Waltrip on the outside entering turn 3. I didn't think all three of us would make it through the corner, so I let off. As it turned out, those two got together and went into the turn 4 wall." Another sweep would be nice, but Gordon is only concerned about a first in the third.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Gordon , Darrell Waltrip
Teams Hendrick Motorsports