Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet Monte Carlo: On the Dover racetrack "It's difficult and it's fun. It's just all corners. It's so fast. You've really got to have the right balance on this racetrack to maintain a lot of momentum here and ...
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet Monte Carlo:
On the Dover racetrack
"It's difficult and it's fun. It's just all corners. It's so fast. You've really got to have the right balance on this racetrack to maintain a lot of momentum here and that's hard to do. But at the same time, when you get it right it's a lot of fun. We've gotten it right several times before and have had a lot of fun here. We hope we do that again this weekend."
You've dominated this race last year. How close are you to doing it again?
"We struggled today in practice. We just keep bouncing back and forth between pushing and loose. We can't seem to get the balance on a real fast run, but I think we're going to have a real good racecar. We always have. We always seem to find our way up to the front here and we'll just have to start on that tomorrow. But for the time being, we're just focused on qualifying."
On the set-up for this track
"Sometimes you get a combination that is (one) what the driver likes and feels and (two) the car and the set-up and things just click. You never know why sometimes you dominate and sometimes you don't. Last year, we had basically the same set-up for the second race as we had for the first race and yet we didn't dominate the second race. You don't know what it's going to take every time."
Do you like this track?
"Yes. I've always liked Dover - from the Busch days on. It's always been a fun place and a place we've run well and it's in DuPont's backyard. This weekend, it's really special to have DuPont's 200th Anniversary paint scheme and to be celebrating their 200th birthday is pretty awesome. We want to win pretty bad for them and we love coming up here and seeing all the DuPont folks and all the fans here in Delaware."
How close are you to capturing a win?
"Last weekend was a really good effort for us (finished 5th at Charlotte). We've definitely got to get our qualifying better because it means so much these days. You can't start in the middle of the field. Last year, that (qualifying) was one of our strongest areas. Look at the results of that. This year, even when we have a good car, we seems to find ourselves trying to get to the front and battling for track position. I was real proud of our effort last weekend. It was one of our best efforts all year long. It says a lot about this team and how well we're going to do the rest of this season if we can get some things going our way."
On the points chase
"In my mind, we're in the thick of it. I know we're 190 (points) out, but we're fourth in points and we're not having a bad season. We haven't won yet this year, but we're certainly not having a bad season. We have a lot of races left. When we left Charlotte last year, we were like 75 points behind first, and yet we won the championship by over 300 points. You do the math. Anything is possible."
There is a guy who is getting paid $20,000 by his college to go around the country studying NASCAR. Does that surprise you?
"Yes and no. I've just always been amazed at how awesome this sport is and how exciting it is and how great the racing is. At the same time, you just never know when something is going to take off in popularity the way NASCAR has. We're certainly thankful for it. For whatever reasons, the fans love it. We're proud of that and hope we can keep putting that effort out to keep them coming."
How important is experience at Dover?
"You're looking for a feel - especially when it comes to the race set-up. I think if you experience a dominating car here and the feeling of going to Victory Lane, then I think experience pays off big."