Brickyard 400 Gordon preview

GORDON WILL ATTEMPT TO QUALIFY THIRD, KEEP BRICKYARD DREAMS ALIVE INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - In motorsports, the most desirable starting spot is the pole position. NASCAR Winston Cup teams test, practice and work vigorously on their qualifying...

GORDON WILL ATTEMPT TO QUALIFY THIRD, KEEP BRICKYARD DREAMS ALIVE

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - In motorsports, the most desirable starting spot is the pole position. NASCAR Winston Cup teams test, practice and work vigorously on their qualifying programs so that they may achieve the ever-prestigious "pole." Not so for Jeff Gordon, driver of the DuPont Automotive Finishes Chevrolet, as he looks forward to qualifying for the sixth annual Brickyard 400 to be run on Aug. 7, just three days after his 28th birthday. See, Gordon has won this renowned event twice. He won the inaugural event and is the defending winner of the Brickyard 400. Gordon also has two poles at the 2.5-mile oval. However, his wins did not come from the poles which he achieved back-to-back in '95 and '96. Nope. Gordon won both Brickyard 400's from the third starting spot. "I don't know what it is about starting third here," said Gordon. "However, I'll start third -- no problem -- if it means winning at Indy." Gordon's love affair with Indy started when he was just a child racing open- wheeled cars. His family moved to Pittsboro, Ind., at the beginning of his teen-age years so that he could race sprint cars. Gordon was able to go the Indianapolis 500 as a kid and was in awe of the spectacle. That's when he started dreaming about racing at Indy. "When you grow up racing in and around Indianapolis, you can't help but to dream of one day racing at one of the greatest speedways in the world," said Gordon. "Once I decided my future was in stock car racing, I figured I might never have the chance to race at Indy. "When NASCAR made the announcement that the Winston Cup Series was going to race at Indy, I couldn't believe it. At that time nobody would have believed that anything but the Indy 500 would be held here. "To be able to go out and win that first race was a very emotional experience. To be able to win it twice is more than I ever dreamed of. "All my dreams of racing at Indy have more than come true. The important thing is being able to race at Indy, not so much what kind of car you do it in." Gordon is the only two-time winner of the Brickyard 400. He has finished in the top 10 four times and has led nearly one-third of all the laps in the first five Winston Cup races at Indy (253 of 800, or 32 per cent). This season, Gordon has four wins and six poles, including the Daytona 500 which he won from the pole. However, with five DNF's after the first 19 of 34 races, Gordon stands fifth in points, 492 behind leader Dale Jarrett. However, he is less than half those points (238) outside of second place. But Gordon does not think about DNF's going into a race--especially when the race is at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The focus is on winning. And because of his competitive nature, Gordon isn't usually content playing second fiddle to anybody... But third?

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett