Charlotte Jeff Gordon Preview

GORDON HOPES TO JOIN THE 'WIN-CROWD' AT CHARLOTTE CONCORD, N.C.--Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Pepsi Chevrolet, has the opportunity to move into elite company this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway. A victory Saturday in Gordon's fifth...

GORDON HOPES TO JOIN THE 'WIN-CROWD' AT CHARLOTTE

CONCORD, N.C.--Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Pepsi Chevrolet, has the opportunity to move into elite company this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

A victory Saturday in Gordon's fifth start in the NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division this season would be his third career win at Charlotte and move him into a tie for third-place on the all-time win list at the 1.5-mile oval with Dale Earnhardt. Additionally, if Gordon is able to capture the pole for the All Pro Bumper to Bumper 300, he would tie Harry Gant and Tim Richmond for first on the all-time Busch Series list with three poles at LMS.

"Those are some pretty big names and it would be a huge accomplishment to be mentioned in the same breath as those guys," Gordon said. "This team has come a long way in a short period of time. Our chances are as good as any for a pole or a win this weekend."

Gordon's debut in the Pepsi Chevrolet resulted in a fourth-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. Then, after disappointing finishes at Texas and Charlotte, Gordon rallied to a second-place finish at Michigan in August.

"We've run well at every track we've competed on this year," Gordon said."We've had two top-five finishes and had a car capable of finishing in the top-five in the other two events."

The Pepsi car experienced rear-end problems at Charlotte in May, ending a strong run and relegating the team to a 33rd-place finish -- quite a contrast from the past success he has enjoyed in the Busch Series at Charlotte.

In 1992, Gordon turned Lowe's Motor Speedway into his personal playground. He won two of his single-season record 11 poles at Charlotte and swept both 300-mile events. His victory in the spring event earned him $113, 844 -- still the Busch Series record for the most money won in a single race.

"It was a great season for us," Gordon said. "We set a lot of records, but sweeping Charlotte was definitely one of the highlights. This is a special place for me. I got my first Winston Cup victory here and I've run very well in both series. I don't see any reason why we can't be extremely competitive in this race and, with a little luck, have a good shot at the win."

While many are surprised that Gordon has not gone to victory lane in the Busch Series this season, he never thought it would be easy.

"It just goes to show you how competitive the Busch Series is," Gordon said. "I didn't expect to come here and dominate every race that we entered. I've been out of the Busch Series for a while and we knew we would experience our share of growing pains.

Good things that could include the first pole and victory this season, and a place among the "win-crowd" at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Gordon , Harry Gant , Tim Richmond