Atlanta-Bound: Gordon Looking For Standings Lead * Jeff Gordon Already In Late-Season Form DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 13, 2007) -- The last time Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet) came to Atlanta Motor Speedway second in the NASCAR NEXTEL...
Atlanta-Bound: Gordon Looking For Standings Lead
* Jeff Gordon Already In Late-Season Form
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 13, 2007) -- The last time Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet) came to Atlanta Motor Speedway second in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series standings was 2001 the year he won his fourth championship.
Heading into this week's KOBALT Tools 500, Gordon hasn't been overly confident, but he has been getting the job done.
"It is a great start to the season." Gordon said. "I feel like we are a much different team than we were last year at this time and even the team we had in 2005. I am excited about what we have in store for ourselves.
"We are bringing great race cars, having a lot of fun no matter where we start in the field. (Crew chief) Steve Letarte really stepped up as a leader. It is making it a lot of fun for me as a driver."
Gordon started the season finishing in 10th in the Daytona 500, avoiding several accidents that gobbled many of his competitors.
Then he carried his momentum over to California Speedway arriving eighth in the standings where he proved his momentum wasn't just a fluke, by starting on the pole. Gordon finished second there moving him to third in the standings, just behind two other experienced drivers Mark Martin (No. 1 U.S. Army Chevrolet) and Jeff Burton (No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet) respectively.
The No. 24 team then packed up the hauler for Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and the old saying, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas," was not the case for Gordon and his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's/KOBALT Chevrolet). Gordon qualified 36th and Johnson 23rd, but both went on to have exceptional performances. Gordon posted a second-place finish this past Sunday at Las Vegas.
Gordon now heads to Atlanta, where he has won four times. If he snares a fifth Atlanta win this weekend, he'll tie Dale Earnhardt for sixth place in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup all-time win list with 76.
"I love Atlanta." Gordon said. "It is one of my very favorite tracks we go to right now. I love the surface there, everything about it. It has multiple grooves and we have run really good there the last couple of races. I am looking forward to going back there."