Dover: Jeff Gordon preview

"Monster" Weekend in Store For Gordon at Dover DOVER, Del. - After struggling at Charlotte in NASCAR's longest race, Jeff Gordon is looking for a "monster" performance this Sunday at Dover International Speedway in the MBNA 400 "A Salute To ...

"Monster" Weekend in Store For Gordon at Dover

DOVER, Del. - After struggling at Charlotte in NASCAR's longest race, Jeff Gordon is looking for a "monster" performance this Sunday at Dover International Speedway in the MBNA 400 "A Salute To Heroes."

Just five races ago, Gordon was ninth in the point standings and trailed the leader by 141. After four consecutive finishes of sixth or better, including back-to-back wins at Talladega and California, he had moved to third and trailed by only 62 points. After posting a disappointing 30th-place finish at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Gordon has fallen to fourth and is now 144 points out of the lead.

"It figures that we'd struggle in our longest race," said Gordon. "But it was only one race of 36. We'll learn from the experience and move on.

"We were very aggressive in our setup, but we can be aggressive at this point in the season. During the final 10-race 'Chase for the Championship,' a poor finish like that could ruin any championship hopes a team might have."

Dover International Speedway's close proximity to DuPont's headquarters may provide added motivation for the No. 24 team. Gordon will participate in NASCAR Day at DuPont on Thursday as well as visit guests in the new DuPont Monster Bridge during Saturday's Busch Series event. The DuPont Monster Bridge is a glass-enclosed seating structure that extends over the backstretch of the one-mile speedway.

Gordon has had some "monster" performances in his sponsor's backyard. In 1995, he led 400 of the 500 laps en route to his first victory here. In 1996, he swept both races, leading 510 of a possible 1,000 laps. He led all but 19 laps when he won in 2001.

Overall, he has posted four victories, two poles, 11 top-fives and 15 top-10 finishes in 22 career starts. He has a 10.0 average finish (best among active drivers with more than 10 starts) and has led 2,115 laps (more than any active driver).

"We don't need a dominating performance this weekend, although that would be nice," Gordon said. "We just need to put last week behind us and focus all of our attention on Dover.

"While I want the team to forget about last weekend, I'm sure it will still be in the back of our minds. It may even provide an extra spark. No one on this team wants it to happen again."

-hm/pprplus-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon