TEAM DUPONT AIMING FOR FIRST IN 'FIRST STATE'
DOVER, Del. (May 29, 2012) - No. 400 for Jeff Gordon in the '400' this Sunday? If so, it might be a first.
Last Sunday night at Charlotte, Gordon collected his 399th career top-10 finish. Only four other drivers have more: Richard Petty (712), Bobby Allison (446), Mark Martin (442) and Dale Earnhardt (428). For Gordon to secure another top 10 - and an 86th career victory - in the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway this Sunday, the No. 24 team will need to find the winning combination.
"Dover is very fast and very challenging," said the driver of the No. 24 DuPont "20 Years" Chevrolet. "Our team has always excelled at tracks that have been the most challenging.
"But we haven't been as successful here recently as we would have liked. We've been constantly looking for that combination that will get us back to our winning ways here."
Of Gordon's 38 starts at the Delaware track, 21 are top-10's including four wins and 14 top-fives. Being conservative may be the key to conquering the concrete track again.
"Getting to pit road at Dover is very tricky, so I prefer to be conservative during green-flag pit stops," said Gordon, who has four poles at the one-mile track. "You don't want to attack (the entry) - I think you're better off being conservative and losing a little bit of time getting there safely than trying to get there super, super fast.
"Let other people make mistakes."
The trip to Delaware includes "NASCAR Day" this Thursday at DuPont headquarters in nearby Wilmington.
"This has been an annual tradition for nearly 20 years now," said Gordon. "They have some cool things lined up again for the DuPont Performance Coatings employees and me, so I'm really looking forward to visiting with a group that has been with me since the beginning of my Cup career.
"It gets us pumped up before going to the track on Friday. We always want to perform well at Dover because it's in DuPont's backyard."
Can Gordon and company perform well enough for another first in the "First State?"