DOVER, Del. - Jeff Gordon wants to return to his "old" ways at Dover Downs International Speedway entering this Sunday's MBNA Platinum 400. In a span of 11 races at Dover from June of 1994 to June of 1999, the 29-year-old Gordon finished...
DOVER, Del. - Jeff Gordon wants to return to his "old" ways at Dover Downs International Speedway entering this Sunday's MBNA Platinum 400.
In a span of 11 races at Dover from June of 1994 to June of 1999, the 29-year-old Gordon finished worse than 11th only once - achieving three wins and seven top fives. Since then, he has only one top-10 finish in three races.
"We struggled a bit in our rookie year (1993), but all of a sudden we hit on our setup and went on a tear," Gordon said. "The setup we used when they first put down concrete (1995) also worked well for us. We just used that basic setup and fine tuned each time.
"We need to get back to that level of consistency at Dover because recently it's been up and down."
Gordon currently stands second in the points standings, 75 points behind leader Dale Jarrett. While contact on pit road during last week's event in Charlotte led to a 29th-place finish, the No. 24 DuPont Motorsports team seems to be returning to the form that won them championships in 1995, 1997 and 1998. Gordon leads the series with seven top fives (two more than anyone else) in 12 races, has one "points" win at Las Vegas and one "non-points" win in The Winston - in a backup car.
"Everybody seems to think we're back after what happened in The Winston," said Gordon. "To win The Winston in a backup car with no practice laps on it shows how prepared this team really is.
"We've run in the top five in each race this year but have had a few bad finishes. We haven't won a points race since Las Vegas. We finished second at California and Richmond, but we really want to get back to victory lane. And what better time than this weekend in front of all the DuPont employees and fans."
Leading into this weekend's race, Gordon will spend Thursday at DuPont headquarters in Wilmington, Del. This event gives Gordon the chance to meet and thank the employees of DuPont.
"DuPont certainly does a lot for us throughout the year," Gordon said, "and it's nice to go there and see their employees.
"With Wilmington so close to Dover, many employees make the trip to the race on Sunday. The best thanks I could give them would be another win."