GORDON BELIEVES "TOMORROW" WILL BE MUCH LIKE THE PAST AT BRISTOL BRISTOL, Tenn. (March 20, 2007) Five-time Bristol Motor Speedway winner Jeff Gordon expects much of the same "tomorrow." Starting with this weekend's event, NASCAR will require...
GORDON BELIEVES "TOMORROW" WILL BE MUCH LIKE THE PAST AT BRISTOL
BRISTOL, Tenn. (March 20, 2007) Five-time Bristol Motor Speedway winner Jeff Gordon expects much of the same "tomorrow." Starting with this weekend's event, NASCAR will require the use of the "Car of Tomorrow" - a "boxier," safer car - in their premier series at selected events. But while the teams have faced a steep learning curve in advance of this debut, Gordon believes fans will see a normal Bristol race. "I expect there to be a lot of cautions, you know, typical Bristol," Gordon said. "Once we get into the race, I think it will resemble races we've had here in the past. "It's a one-groove race track that's difficult to pass on. You shouldn't see too much of a difference unless teams are way off on their setups."
According to crew chief Steve Letarte, the flexibility of setups is the major obstacle facing the teams. "The biggest challenge is the set frame heights and the set height of the front-end 'splitter,'" Letarte said. "NASCAR has mandated those heights to level the playing field, and that takes away some of the flexibility we had in creating a setup."
"Bristol is a tough track, and coupled with this car, it's going to challenge the teams and the drivers," Gordon said. "It's going to be tough trying to find the right balance on the car. "I've been critical of this car in the past, but I'm going into this weekend with a positive attitude. Hopefully, it will be a successful weekend for NASCAR and the competitors.
"We'll have a better understanding of the car after we get through a weekend of racing."
Along with his five wins, Gordon has collected four poles, 11 top-fives and 17 top-10's in 28 starts at the high-banked short track. He has led at least one lap in 22 events, and is 71 laps led shy of 2,500. But statistics are made up of the past, and the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion hopes "tomorrow" brings similar results.