Brooklyn: Jeff Gordon preview

Defending champion Gordon going for 200TH career top-10 finish. BROOKLYN, Mich. - Last year in the first event at Michigan, Jeff Gordon gave Hendrick Motorsports its 100th NASCAR Winston Cup victory. This year, Gordon will be gunning for a ...

Defending champion Gordon going for 200TH career top-10 finish.

BROOKLYN, Mich. - Last year in the first event at Michigan, Jeff Gordon gave Hendrick Motorsports its 100th NASCAR Winston Cup victory. This year, Gordon will be gunning for a milestone of a different sort.

A top-10 finish on Sunday will give Gordon his 200th career Winston Cup top 10 in just 308 starts. Overall, Gordon has four Winston Cup championships, 58 wins, 41 poles and 151 top fives.

"It's hard to imagine that we've got that many top-10's," said Gordon. "It just goes to show how consistent this team has been over the years. I think it's a pretty good testament to how hard we've worked."

The defending race champion and two-time winner at Michigan likes his chances of achieving the milestone at one of his favorite tracks on the Winston Cup circuit.

"I've always liked Michigan because of how wide it is and the different grooves on the track," said Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet. "It allows you to run high or low depending on how well your car is handling."

Along with his two victories in 18 starts at the 2.0-mile D-shaped speedway, Gordon has 12 top fives and 14 top 10's, including five runner-up finishes. He also has completed all but one lap in the nine June events here (1793 of 1794).

"I really feel like we should have four or five wins here rather than two," said Gordon. "But, we've still had a lot of success here."

He dominated last year's event, leading 143 of 200 laps, and managed to overcome some late-race drama with Ricky Rudd to capture the 100th NASCAR Winston Cup victory for Hendrick Motorsports. Rudd and Gordon swapped the lead twice on the final two laps.

"I really thought he had me," said Gordon. "When that No. 28 car gets a sniff of you and gets a draft going, you better make your car extra wide."

So far in 2002, Gordon has nine top-10's including his current streak of four-in-a-row. Currently, he is third in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings, 165 behind leader Sterling Marlin who is also strong at Michigan.

"I'm happy with our current streak of finishes, but we need to turn those into wins and top fives if we want to stay in the thick of the championship chase.

"It will take another run like last year to pick up any points on Sterling here. I think the key will be getting up front and into clean air. If that happens, I think we should be able to separate ourselves from most of the field.

"I'd like for that 200th top-10 to be my 59th victory."

-pprp-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Sterling Marlin
Teams Hendrick Motorsports