Gordon Hopes To Ignite "Chase" Run at Charlotte CONCORD, N.C. - Nevermind that Jeff Gordon has four NASCAR Cup victories at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Forget the fact he was "embarrassed" by his 30th-place finish here in May. None of that matters.
Gordon Hopes To Ignite "Chase" Run at Charlotte
CONCORD, N.C. - Nevermind that Jeff Gordon has four NASCAR Cup victories at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Forget the fact he was "embarrassed" by his 30th-place finish here in May. None of that matters. What matters to the four-time NASCAR champion is that Team DuPont's "Drive for Five" is still alive, and a strong performance in Saturday night's UAW-GM Quality 500 could ignite the team toward another championship.
Gordon, a 69-time winner in NASCAR's premier series, is currently third in points, 79 behind leader Kurt Busch. With six races remaining in the "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup," momentum can swing at any moment.
"There's still a lot of racing left and we're still very close," Gordon said. "We haven't lived up to our potential in the first four races of the 'Chase,' yet we're only 79 points behind. We know we're better than that.
"If we start performing like we're capable of and things start going our way, we can gain some momentum and make a run at another championship."
The low point in Gordon's season may have occurred here in May. After qualifying third, he struggled with a loose condition for much of the 600-mile race en route to a 30th-place finish.
"We were embarrassed by that performance and it lit a fire underneath us," Gordon said. "We started running better and things just started to 'click.'" In the nine events following that race, Gordon captured three victories, four poles and seven top-fives. In one of those races, Chicago, he finished fourth using the same chassis that the team struggled with at Charlotte.
"We qualified well at both tracks, but the car was too loose during both races," crew chief Robbie Loomis said. "The longer we ran, the looser it became.
"Luckily, we were able to diagnose the problem during a caution flag at Chicago and make the necessary adjustments to finish well. The rear jack bolt loosened up the longer we ran, making the car almost impossible to drive.
"We believe that was our problem at Charlotte, also."
The chassis, No. 2479, will be used again this weekend, albeit with a different paint scheme. Gordon, along with his Hendrick Motorsports teammates, will carry similar HMS 20th Anniversary paint schemes on their Chevrolets.
Along with his four victories at Lowe's, Gordon has seven poles, 12 top-fives and 14 top-10's in 23 starts. But that is in the past, and he is looking to the future.
"All we can control is our own destiny," Gordon said. "That starts with leading laps and battling for wins."