Dover: Jeff Gordon preview

Gordon wants to "de-throne" teammate at Dover DOVER, Del. - Jeff Gordon, one of only three drivers to win three straight races at Dover International Speedway, will look to capture his fifth victory at Dover this Sunday in the MBNA Armed Forces...

Gordon wants to "de-throne" teammate at Dover

DOVER, Del. - Jeff Gordon, one of only three drivers to win three straight races at Dover International Speedway, will look to capture his fifth victory at Dover this Sunday in the MBNA Armed Forces Family 400. If he is successful, Gordon will deny his teammate Jimmie Johnson from becoming the fourth driver to accomplish the "three-peat."

Gordon, a four-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion and driver of the DuPont Chevrolet, knows that Johnson enters this event full of confidence.

"They have momentum on their side with two wins in the last two weeks at Charlotte," said Gordon, co-owner of the No. 48 Chevrolet driven by Johnson. "Plus they're undefeated here, having won both races in their rookie season. I'm sure their confidence is sky-high right now.

"Our DuPont team usually arrives here pretty confident, too. We've had a lot of success here and have led a lot of laps, which is always good to do in DuPont's backyard in front of their customers and employees."

Along with four victories, Gordon has two poles, nine top-fives, 13 top-10's and has led 2,048 laps in 20 career starts. In his first victory at the 1.0-mile speedway in 1995, he led 400 of the 500 laps. In 2001, Gordon led 381 of 400 laps en route to victory.

At the one-third mark of the 2003 season, Gordon sits third in the point standings, 216 behind leader Matt Kenseth. His average starting position is 9.25 -- three positions better than his 2002 average -- and he leads the series in laps led with 646.

"One of the areas we wanted to improve over the offseason was our qualifying performance," said Gordon. "We're leading more laps than we did last year and I think that is a direct result of good qualifying efforts on Friday.

"There is no easy way around this place. It's much easier when you can race the track as the leader instead of racing the track in the middle of 10 cars battling for position. Out front is definitely where you want to be during this race."

Out front is where Gordon has finished 62 times during his Winston Cup career, winning on 19 of the 23 tracks currently on the schedule. Johnson must be learning from the four-time champion as he has now won on three different tracks: Charlotte, Dover and California. Gordon has collected a total of 10 victories at those three tracks.

This Sunday, Gordon hopes to collect the winner's share of the purse, not the owner's share.

-hm/pprplus-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Jimmie Johnson