Loudon Jeff Gordon Preview

GORDON RETURNS TO NHIS WITH VIGOR TO DEFEND RACE WIN LOUDON, N.H. -- This Sunday at New Hampshire International Speedway Jeff Gordon will have to return to the 1.058-mile oval with more drive in order to defend last year's win in the Farm Aid on...

GORDON RETURNS TO NHIS WITH VIGOR TO DEFEND RACE WIN

LOUDON, N.H. -- This Sunday at New Hampshire International Speedway Jeff Gordon will have to return to the 1.058-mile oval with more drive in order to defend last year's win in the Farm Aid on CMT 300.

In July of 1995, Gordon did not qualify or finish well at NHIS. When he came back for the first fall race there, he came back with a vengeance and won.

Returning earlier in 1998, Gordon managed to lead 73 laps, but in the end, nobody was going to catch Jeff Burton to challenge for the win. Not that day.

Now Gordon, his crew chief Ray Evernham and the entire team of Rainbow Warriors will countercharge once again at NHIS to get the DuPont Automotive Finishes Chevrolet to victory lane.

"We got our butts kicked at Loudon last time by Jeff Burton," said Gordon. "We're bringing a new combination this time."

"We finished third, but third isn't good enough for us."

In seven Winston Cup races at New Hampshire, Gordon has two wins, three top-five and four top-10 finishes. He has led 407 of 2,100 laps run there, or 19 per cent.

Last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, Gordon attempted to win five in a row after winning the four previous races at Pocono, Indianapolis, Watkins Glen and Michigan, respectively.

Mark Martin went on to win at Bristol after a grueling 500 laps around the .533-mile oval that is completely enclosed by grandstands, leaving no place for toxic fumes to escape. Many drivers, including Gordon, were left oxygen- deficient. Gordon finished fifth and instead of breaking the record for the most consecutive wins in the modern era, left his name in the archives with those who have also tied for four in a row.

The 1998 season has meant more of the same success he has experienced over the past several years. After 22 of 33 races, Gordon has eight wins, six poles, 16 top-five and 17 top-10 finishes. His win at Indy made him the first two-time Brickyard 400 winner and the first to win the Winston No Bull 5-- a $1 million bonus. He leads the point standings by 67 over Martin.

In his career, Gordon has 37 race wins in 179 starts giving him a winning percentage of 20.8. Gordon achieved this percentage with consecutive starts between 1992-1998. Tim Flock holds the best all-time winning percentage of 21.2 for 40 wins in 189 starts between 1949-1961.

Additionally, Gordon has 22 career poles (12.3%), 90 top-fives (50%), 112 top-10's (62%) and has earned better than $20.5 million.

If desire and determination of the people involved are what set one race team apart from the rest, then don't look for less out of the No. 24 DuPont team and Jeff Gordon for the rest of the year, and beyond.

That's why they win.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Ray Evernham , Tim Flock , Mark Martin