GORDON GOING "ALL OUT" FOR RECORD BREAKING ALL-STAR VICTORY CONCORD, N.C. (May 13, 2008) - Saturday night's All-Star event at Lowe's Motor Speedway is a "Sprint" race, and Jeff Gordon believes there is only one way to approach the annual ...
GORDON GOING "ALL OUT" FOR RECORD BREAKING ALL-STAR VICTORY
CONCORD, N.C. (May 13, 2008) - Saturday night's All-Star event at Lowe's Motor Speedway is a "Sprint" race, and Jeff Gordon believes there is only one way to approach the annual event.
"Go 'all out.'" Gordon is currently tied with the late Dale Earnhardt for most victories in the non- points event for race winners. Each of Gordon's three victories, coincidentally, occurred in years he won the NASCAR Cup Series championship (1995, 1997 and 2001).
"I think the All-Star race is a fantastic event," Gordon said. "We all look forward to it because of the excitement, the prestige, the bragging rights and the million dollars that goes to the winner. There are no points on the line which means there is less pressure on the teams, but it seems there is more excitement surrounding the event.
"You just have fun and race hard.
"Most importantly, though, I think it's a great race for the fans. You hope it's a great race for them because that is really what this event is all about. It's sort of giving back to the fans for their support and everything they do for us."
In 1995, he won all three segments en route to his first victory in the event. He won again in 1997 and, in 2001, he drove a backup car to victory after being involved in a first- lap crash.
His favorite moment?
"Probably the year we crashed and came back to win," Gordon said. "There is such a buildup prior to the race that is was deflating to be involved in a crash in the first corner on the first lap because the track was wet. Then we got word we could run the backup car, and to see all the Hendrick Motorsports (HMS) teams working to get the car ready was incredible. "Winning that event was a testament to HMS and the guys on the DuPont team."
Last Saturday night, Gordon posted a third-place finish in the 500-mile event at Darlington. Next weekend is a 600-miler at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Sandwiched between 1,100 miles of racing is this weekend's 150-mile event broken up into four segments of 25 laps. The format and the shorter distance mean a very aggressive approach is required to battle for the victory.
"You have to be aggressive," said Gordon. "You only drive different in this event because it's basically a short, sprint race. It's going to be tough to win the race just being consistent. "That's not going to work in the All-Star event. It's about being aggressive in the pits and being aggressive on the race track.
"It's about going all-out."