Jeff Gordon Pocono Preview

Gordon aims for third straight Pocono 500 win LONG POND, Pa. (June 17, 1998) At Pocono Raceway this week, Jeff Gordon will be going for his third straight win in the June event at that track -- the Pocono 500. He won the Bud Pole and the race...

Gordon aims for third straight Pocono 500 win

LONG POND, Pa. (June 17, 1998) At Pocono Raceway this week, Jeff Gordon will be going for his third straight win in the June event at that track -- the Pocono 500. He won the Bud Pole and the race there in 1996, and followed that with his second consecutive win in this event last season on the way to 10 victories in 1997.

In the July race at Pocono last year, Gordon posted a second-place finish, proving the young driver knows how to negotiate that difficult track with its unique triangular design.

Gordon's third-place finish at Michigan Speedway last week -- after he dominated most of the 200-lap event -- earned him 175 points and moved him to second place in the standings after 14 races.

That performance lifted the driver of the No. 24 DuPont Refinishes Chevrolet to within 26 points (2023 - 1997) of current points leader Jeremy Mayfield, which means Gordon could easily go back on top of the standings with a good run in this weekend's race.

Gordon has posted three wins already in this 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup season, and could easily have won two other races. He was on his way to a victory at Richmond as he made a bold move to take over the front spot from Rusty Wallace in the closing laps of that race, but was spun out. And he could have won at Michigan last week when he led a total of 132 laps, only to see his comfortable lead vanish on a caution period called for debris on the track. Mark Martin eventually overtook Gordon and won the race.

Gordon and his Ray Evernham-led Rainbow Warriors crew continue to display why they have been the circuit's top overall team in recent years and why they are legitimate contenders to capture their third series championship and the fourth straight title for Hendrick Motorsports. They are the current leaders in laps led this season with a total of 799 out-front laps while compiling three wins, eight top-five finishes and nine top-10s in the 14 races run.

Teammate Terry Labonte, driver of the No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet, stands sixth in the current standings, only 142 points (2023 - 1881) out of first place. Labonte has recorded a victory this year, at Richmond -- his 20th career win, and continues to show his consistency with four top-five finishes and eight top-10s so far in the 14 races completed.

Labonte looks to continue his amazing streak of consecutive starts in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series at Pocono. Coming into the Pocono event, he has recorded 583 straight starts, a NASCAR record. The Texas native has not missed making a starting lineup since 1979.

Labonte won his second championship in 1996 and the Kellogg's team knows it is a contender for another possible title this year as it aims for another good run at Pocono this week.

Wally Dallenbach, filling in for regular driver Ricky Craven, made an impressive showing for the organization last week at Michigan. He had a strong qualifying run, placing eighth, and brought the No. 50 Budweiser Chevrolet across the finish line in 10th place.

That top-10 showing in his first points race for Hendrick Motorsports gave a tremendous boost to the Bud Brigade, who now look to follow that effort with a strong finish, possibly a win, at Pocono this weekend.

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Wally Dallenbach Sr. , Jeff Gordon , Terry Labonte , Jeremy Mayfield , Rusty Wallace , Ricky Craven , Ray Evernham , Mark Martin
Teams Hendrick Motorsports