Daytona Jeff Gordon testing 96-06-14

Gordon Ready to Paint Opposition Blue in Pepsi 400 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 14) -- Jeff Gordon confidently said his team could make him a winner whether he was driving a Chevrolet, Ford or Pontiac as he rested during his first day ...

Gordon Ready to Paint Opposition Blue in Pepsi 400

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 14) -- Jeff Gordon confidently said his team could make him a winner whether he was driving a Chevrolet, Ford or Pontiac as he rested during his first day of testing in early June at Daytona International Speedway. The defending NASCAR Winston Cup champion hopes the Chevrolet Monte Carlo that Hendrick Motorsports recently engineered can carry him to his second straight Pepsi 400 title at the "World Center of Racing" July 6 at 11 a.m. Gordon and the DuPont Refinishes team unveiled a new car at Daytona on June 10 in preparation for the "Mid-Summer Classic" Pepsi 400 after wrecks in both the Daytona 500 and Winston Select 500 at Talladega rendered two superspeedway cars unraceable. He will be relying on this car and the "Rainbow Warriors" -- nicknamed for their multicolored car and uniforms -- to carry him back into the thick of the 1996 NASCAR Winston Cup point race at the season's unofficial halfway point. "I feel like we'd be where we are no matter what kind of car we had because we have a great team," said Gordon, downplaying the effects of recent NASCAR rule changes. "If it was just the car, there'd be a whole lot of Monte Carlos up there -- and there's just a handful that are really running. Those teams are strong whether they'd be in a Pontiac, Ford or a Chevrolet, I believe." Gordon will get a chance to show what the team learned at the test in Busch Pole Award Qualifying on July 4 at 2:30 p.m. Practice rounds will be held on July 4-5 with Busch Beer Second- Round Qualifying set for 1 p.m. on July 5. In last year's Pepsi 400, Gordon outdistanced Sterling Marlin and Dale Earnhardt in a final lap dash to the finish. He'll have to deal with them as well as two-time Daytona 500 champion Dale Jarrett, former Pepsi 400 winners Jimmy Spencer and Ernie Irvan and others to capture the second NASCAR Winston Cup event of the year at Daytona. "It meant a lot to put another notch in our belts at Daytona," said Gordon, who had previously won the Busch Clash and a Gatorade 125-Mile Qualifying Race there. "Winning a points race at Daytona was really a thrill and a lifetime goal." In crew chief Ray Evernham, Gordon has one of NASCAR's hardest workers. That was reflected in their two-and-a-half day test, where the team peaked on the second day with a best lap of 47.98 seconds, an average speed of 187.578 mph. In limited runs the rebuilt car never matched the newer one in sheer speed. "Our superspeedway program hasn't been that great this year," acknowledged Gordon, "so we're just trying to get as much information as we can so we can come back (for the Pepsi 400) and be competitive. These guys work hard -- even on off weeks -- that's why they're the best. "We've got some momentum right now so we've got to keep the pressure on Earnhardt and those guys. They're not making any mistakes and falling out of races. If they keep that up we'll have a hard time but we're doing all we can to catch up." At the June test Gordon experienced conditions similar to what he'll have in July, and the team took advantage of that. "In February the track is cooler and the tires seem to stay with you longer," Gordon said of the difference between the 2.5- mile Daytona trioval in February and mid-summer. "The handling is especially critical in July when the sun gets on the race track and the cars don't stick as well. "Track position is so critical so you've got to work on everything. You've got to work on qualifying so you can start up front and then stay up front. That's what we were able to do last July -- take the lead and then never let them get around us." A year ago the Pepsi 400 was the springboard to Gordon's biggest national title, as he took the NASCAR Winston Cup point lead a week later and never relinquished it. To see if he can accomplish the same feat in 1996, call the Daytona International Speedway Ticket Office at (904) 253-RACE (7223) for ticket orders and information.  --=====================_834796844==_ Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="AGORDO.USA"

Gordon and Crew Get Sneak Preview of DAYTONA USA DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 12) -- Jeff Gordon, the 1995 NASCAR Winston Cup champion, got a sneak preview of DAYTONA USA, "The Ultimate Motorsports Attraction," during a recent visit to Daytona International Speedway. Gordon, crew chief Ray Evernham and a group of Hendrick Motorsports' "Rainbow Warriors" were at the Speedway for a test session in preparation for the upcoming July 6 Pepsi 400. Gordon and his crew borrowed time from work for a little play at the new attraction. DAYTONA USA, which will open July 5 at 8 a.m., will educate and entertain visitors through interactive exhibits and displays. "It's great! The guys (Rainbow Warriors) and I got a chance to go through it yesterday and it's really a neat place," said Gordon. "I really liked the exhibit where you can drive your own race car (via computer simulation) around Daytona and DuPont's exhibit where my car comes apart. I think anytime you can take them (the average fan) and educate them more about Winston Cup racing, it's a tremendous positive for the sport." Two exhibits that seemed to be very popular with the group were "STP Daytona Time Trials" and "DuPont Technology of Speed." Daytona Time Trials will give visitors the opportunity to "set up" and qualify a NASCAR Winston Cup stock car at Daytona via a computer simulation game. The Technology of Speed exhibit features Gordon's Chevrolet Monte Carlo in a unique and educational show. Gordon's race car expands to reveal individual components such as the body, roll cage and drive train during the show giving onlookers a glimpse of what really goes into the construction of a NASCAR Winston Cup stock car. Gordon is the defending champion of the Pepsi 400.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Gordon , Ernie Irvan , Dale Jarrett , Jimmy Spencer , Ray Evernham
Teams Hendrick Motorsports