FOR TEAM DUPONT, NON-POINTS EVENT COULD LEAD TO MORE POINTS CONCORD, N.C. (May 18, 2010) - No points are on the line during the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race, but that does not mean three-time event winner Jeff Gordon and Team DuPont will not be...
FOR TEAM DUPONT, NON-POINTS EVENT COULD LEAD TO MORE POINTS
CONCORD, N.C. (May 18, 2010) - No points are on the line during the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race, but that does not mean three-time event winner Jeff Gordon and Team DuPont will not be thinking about them when the green flag drops Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
In March, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams tested here with a spoiler. While the track time was very important to all participants, there is a glaring difference between that test and Saturday night's race - the sun.
"Our first test with the spoiler on the mile-and-a-half tracks occurred here during the day," said crew chief Steve Letarte. "That entire test was in daylight, and all our practice this week prior to the race will occur during the day. Our first chance to see how the car drives under cooler night conditions will be when the green flag drops on Saturday night.
"And while our focus will be to win this non-points event, the feedback we get from Jeff will certainly help us when preparing for the Memorial Day weekend 600- miler."
But first up is a race win worth $1 million, and a final segment that usually creates memorable moments. Last year, Gordon was involved in a three-wide scramble for the lead exiting turn 4 during the 10-lap segment. However, he never made it to turn 1 since contact with another car sent Gordon's brightly-painted Impala into a spin and into the frontstretch wall.
"That's what makes this event so exciting," said Gordon. "We're not thinking about the consequences of lost points, we're just thinking about winning. That creates a lot of excitement for the fans.
"And it creates a lot of excitement for the drivers."
There is a new wrinkle to this year's format - a race inside of a race with pit crews playing a crucial role in determining the outcome of the special event. Prior to the start of the final segment, there is a mandatory four-tire pit stop with the final restart lineup determined by the order the cars exit pit road.
"I think this is a cool addition to this year's race," said Letarte. "This gives the crew a chance to showcase their abilities with a true four-tire stop with a lot on the line during our all-star event."