FONTANA, Calif. - Jeff Gordon probably wouldn't mind if all NASCAR Winston Cup races were held in California. Gordon, driver of the DuPont Chevrolet and a native of Vallejo, Calif., has won five of the past eight Winston Cup events in...
FONTANA, Calif. - Jeff Gordon probably wouldn't mind if all NASCAR Winston Cup races were held in California.
Gordon, driver of the DuPont Chevrolet and a native of Vallejo, Calif., has won five of the past eight Winston Cup events in his home state. He will look to make it six-for-nine this Sunday in the NAPA Auto Parts 500 at California Speedway.
Gordon won the inaugural California Speedway event in 1997 and repeated in 1999. He has also captured three straight victories at Sears Point Raceway, located in Sonoma, Calif. Sears Point Raceway and California Speedway each hold one Winston Cup event a year.
Along with his two wins at California Speedway, Gordon has one top-five, one pole, has led 287 laps and is the only driver to complete all 1,000 laps in the four-year history of the event.
"Those are the types of numbers we need at every track," Gordon said. "I've always liked racing at places like California and Michigan. The track is wide and gives you plenty of room to run and race side-by-side.
"Last year, the groove in the turns allowed for racing much higher than ever before and it was a very tricky race track. With the track hot and slick, you have to keep searching for a groove that works best for your car."
The wide groove gives the drivers plenty of room to race without many incidents. The 250-lap race has averaged only 25 caution laps, meaning car setup is crucial.
"The long green-flag runs are great when your car is running well," Gordon said. "But when it's off, you have to get the most out of the car and hope you don't go a lap down."
Gordon, who enters the event second in points with one win, two pole's, five top-five's and has led in eight of nine events this season, believes track position will play a crucial role in the outcome of this weekend's race.
"Last year, we just couldn't seem to get the track position we wanted," Gordon said. "My car just changed so much being in traffic compared to not being in traffic. But we stayed on the lead lap and finished 11th when it could have been much worse.
"I'd rather do what we did in '97 and '99. Keep the car out front in clean' air, lead the most laps...and win."