Kansas: Jeff Gordon preview

Gordon Looking To Take Yellow Brick Road All The Way Home KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Like the characters of The Wizard of Oz, who relentlessly pursued and achieved their dreams after overcoming various obstacles, Jeff Gordon and Team DuPont continue...

Gordon Looking To Take Yellow Brick Road All The Way Home

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Like the characters of The Wizard of Oz, who relentlessly pursued and achieved their dreams after overcoming various obstacles, Jeff Gordon and Team DuPont continue their quest toward a fifth NASCAR premier series title as they enter race No. 4 of 10 in the "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup" championship.

Appropriately, The Wizard of Oz will be incorporated into the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet paint scheme - brought to life in DuPont's new "Hot Hues!" custom paint colors - for this Sunday's Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway. The Lion, who was searching for courage, and the Scarecrow, who was looking for a brain, will tag along with Gordon down the "Yellow Brick Road" that hopefully leads to Victory Lane and one step closer to that fifth championship.

And with only three races in the record books at the Kansas City track, Gordon holds the title to two of them with three top-fives and a 2.3 average finish at the 1.5-mile facility. The two drivers ahead of Gordon in the standings, Kurt Busch and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., have an average finish here of 26.67 and 19.0, respectively.

"With 43 cars racing side-by-side at over 180 miles per hour, the Lion should find his courage pretty quick," Gordon said. "As for a brain, I hope the Scarecrow locates one before the race begins.

"We've had some cool paint schemes over the years, and this one is no different. The Wizard of Oz is a classic movie that seems to stand the test of time."

Even with the 19th-place finish last weekend at Talladega, Team DuPont's "Drive for Five" is still very much alive as Gordon enters this weekend third in points, 48 behind leader Busch.

"We ran well and had a good car at Talladega, we were just unfortunate to end up with a 19th-place finish," Gordon said. "That happens sometimes and you have to put it behind you and concentrate on the next race.

"We have a lot of confidence entering this weekend. Chicago and Kansas are similar, and we won the pole and ran well at Chicago earlier this year. We've also won here twice before, which really boosts your confidence level going in.

"We still have seven races left and we may see the lead swap a couple more times before the championship is decided. When you're battling for a championship, it's intense -- every single decision is a major one, every single position is a major one."

There's no place like home, and Gordon feels right at home in Victory Lane at Kansas.

-pprplus-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Gordon , Kurt Busch