MOMENTUM SURGE TO CONTINUE FOR TEAM DUPONT IN ATLANTA? HAMPTON, Ga. (October 23, 2007) - With two wins and four top-fives in their last four starts, will the Surge continue for Team DuPont in the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on ...
MOMENTUM SURGE TO CONTINUE FOR TEAM DUPONT IN ATLANTA?
HAMPTON, Ga. (October 23, 2007) - With two wins and four top-fives in their last four starts, will the Surge continue for Team DuPont in the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday?
Jeff Gordon, who leads the point standings by 53 over Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson, won the October 13 event at Lowe's Motor Speedway - a "sister" track to Atlanta with a similar design - in chassis No. 24-387. That chassis will be run again this weekend, albeit with a different look.
This weekend, Gordon's No. 24 DuPont/Nicorette Chevrolet will carry a DuPont Hot Hues maroon color known as "Crimson Splash" to promote the newest flavor of Nicorette gum, Cinnamon Surge. While the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion continues to promote a smoke-free lifestyle for crew members and fans, Gordon hopes to remain on "fire" through the end of the season.
"We've had a good start to the Chase, but a lot can still happen in the remaining four races," said Gordon. "A lot can happen in one race.
"In the few years since the Chase began, it seems like the champion has had at least one bad finish during the 10-race stretch. But that may not happen this year. Jimmie has been strong and I don't see that team letting up, and Clint (Bowyer, third place in the standings) has been consistent.
"A lot of people are counting Tony (Stewart) out, but that team is capable of going on a tear. Until someone is mathematically eliminated, I'm considering them a threat to win the championship."
In 30 starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Gordon has four wins, one pole, 12 top-fives and 18 top-10's. Johnson won the last event here, but Gordon was happy with the performance of the car during the event.
"I love racing at Atlanta because of the multiple grooves in the corner, and we had an awesome car here in the spring," said Gordon. "But we lost a lap on pit road due to repairs (loose crush panel).
"Losing that lap was a mistake on our part. We were able to recover and get back on the lead lap, but we learned from it.
"We have to do everything in our power to make sure something like that doesn't happen again."
Gordon, who has 81 career wins, ranks sixth on the all-time list - a mere 119 behind Richard Petty's career total. The pair raced against each other only once, 15 years ago in the 1992 season finale at Atlanta. To commemorate the anniversary, Petty will serve as the Honorary Starter for this Sunday's event while Gordon will be the Grand Marshal.
"It's an honor to give the command to start engines prior to the race at a track where my Cup Series career began 15 years ago," said Gordon, whose 15-year partnership with DuPont and Hendrick Motorsports is the longest current driver/owner/primary sponsor relationship in NASCAR.
"For the first time, the entire crowd may actually cheer for something I did.
"Or, then again, this may be the first time that the command is booed," Gordon joked.