Charlotte: Jeff Gordon preview

GORDON SAYS PATIENCE IS KEY WHEN RUNNING 600 MILES CONCORD, NC - Lowe's Motor Speedway will host stock car racing's longest event this Sunday night when NASCAR's elite drivers compete for 600 miles, and Jeff Gordon, a four-time winner of this ...

GORDON SAYS PATIENCE IS KEY WHEN RUNNING 600 MILES

CONCORD, NC - Lowe's Motor Speedway will host stock car racing's longest event this Sunday night when NASCAR's elite drivers compete for 600 miles, and Jeff Gordon, a four-time winner of this event, says patience will be a virtue.

Gordon leads all active drivers with seven poles at the 1.5-mile track, five of those come for the 600 and were posted in consecutive years. Tied with Mark Martin, he has four career wins at Lowe's, three of the victories came in the 600. Gordon also has six top-fives and eight top-10s in his career racing the 600 and says his approach to this race is different from others.

"A 600 mile race is long, so it's very important to take your time out there," said Gordon. You don't want to get caught racing too early and get into trouble. I want to be around when it counts.

"You don't want to lay back too much and go down a lap, and the race is too long to try and stay up front all day. I want to stay near the lead pack, keep my car together, and by the end of the race be in contention for a good finish."

Lowe's Motor Speedway recently had the race surface "levigated," a process that not only smoothed out the racing surface, but created two distinct racing lines.

"The new surface is very fast, and with two racing lines, it should make for better racing. I'm really looking forward to rubber being laid down out there. It should make us more maneuverable."

Team DuPont participated in a test session earlier this month at Lowe's and unofficially set the track record. That speed however, was set early in the day. During the 600, Gordon expects the track to change due to the setting sun and changing track temperatures.

"In the past, we knew what to expect when the sun would set and the track would cool off," said Gordon. "But with this new surface, we aren't exactly sure what it's going to do.

"We had some excellent tests here, and the car we are bringing is very good and very adjustable. That should give us the flexibility we need to make the proper adjustments as the track changes."

Gordon enters this weekend in third place in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series standings, 124 points behind leader and teammate Jimmy Johnson.

-hm-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Mark Martin