GORDON/WHITESELL CHEMISTRY-- A POTENT MIXTURE FROM GET-GO CONCORD, N.C.-- If there were doubts before, there certainly aren't any now. Jeff Gordon and the Rainbow Warriors have proven what they have been saying all along -- that their...
GORDON/WHITESELL CHEMISTRY-- A POTENT MIXTURE FROM GET-GO
CONCORD, N.C.-- If there were doubts before, there certainly aren't any now.
Jeff Gordon and the Rainbow Warriors have proven what they have been saying all along -- that their success is because of an ongoing effort on behalf of the entire No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes team.
Last Sunday's victory at Martinsville Speedway exemplified this as newly promoted Brian Whitesell, in his first race as crew chief, made a call for Gordon to stay on the track while the other drivers on the lead lap pitted during a caution with 28 laps remaining. The decision ultimately resulted in victory.
No doubt Gordon and former crew chief Ray Evernham had something special between them. The No. 24 Winston Cup team had known no other leader since its inception nearly seven years ago. To undergo such a change win immediately says a lot for the foundation built by Evernham.
"It just goes to show what this team is made of," said Gordon. "Ray has made this team what it is today and I couldn't be more proud of these guys.
"With any change comes new challenges and this team stepped up to the plate and got the job the done. There was a lot of pressure this week and this team really rallied around Brian and me, and our communication has been great.
"We needed to prove to ourselves that we could continue to have that chemistry and I think we did. Morale now, is better than I've seen it in a while."
Gordon hopes to carry that morale into this Sunday's race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. He has never won the UAW-GM Quality 500 in spite of three other wins and six poles in 13 starts at the 1.5-mile oval.
"Charlotte is one of our better tracks," said Gordon. "We've had a lot of success here, but we just haven't been able to make it happen in the fall."
Gordon's track record in six fall-event starts consists of one pole, three fifth-place finishes and three finishes of 28th or worse.
In comparison, Gordon has five consecutive poles and three wins in seven spring events at Lowe's Motor Speedway, including back-to-back spring-race wins in '97 and '98.
With the exception of the '97 fall race when he started fourth and finished fifth, Gordon has led at least one lap in every Winston Cup race entered at LMS.
Well, they proved that they could win a race in October last year, and they proved that they could win a race with a new crew chief last weekend, now maybe they can concoct the mixture that will give them both this weekend at LMS.