Loudon will be interesting for J. Gordon

LOUDON, N.H. - Jeff Gordon doesn't know what to expect this weekend as the NASCAR Winston Cup Series visits New Hampshire International Speedway for the Dura-Lube 300 sponsored by Kmart. Gordon, driver of the DuPont Chevrolet, enters...

LOUDON, N.H. - Jeff Gordon doesn't know what to expect this weekend as the NASCAR Winston Cup Series visits New Hampshire International Speedway for the Dura-Lube 300 sponsored by Kmart. Gordon, driver of the DuPont Chevrolet, enters this weekend's event with six consecutive top-five finishes at NHIS. With three wins and seven top-fives in 11 starts at this New England speedway, he's had his share of success. But a rule change announced by NASCAR has the team scrambling. In Richmond, NASCAR announced it would require all Winston Cup cars to use a one-inch restrictor plate at New Hampshire in an effort to reduce speed. "I think slowing the cars down is good," Gordon said. "But it's going to make this whole weekend much more interesting. "We're all going to be throwing a lot of different spring and shock combinations on the car, trying to find the package that works. I'm going to have to learn new braking points, new accelerating points and possibly a different line around the corners. There are just so many questions that won't be answered until we start practice on Friday. "I don't even know what to expect in the race on Sunday. I believe there will be a lot more side-by-side racing, but we'll just have to wait and see. "I think in the time span that NASCAR had and the testing they did, this is the best way to go for this weekend. I think collectively we can still go forward and come up with some things in the future also." The No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team is heading into the NHIS event with two consecutive top-fives, including a win at Richmond last weekend, after a dismal August in which the team had no finish higher than 23rd. "August just about wore me out," crew chief Robbie Loomis said. "The big thing is you just have to believe and you have to know where you're going. "While the month of August was real tough on this team, it actually brought us closer together. Everybody on this team kept digging and kept believing we could do it. Everybody made suggestions about what we could do to the car at Richmond to make it better. That communication helped us get the win." Gordon agrees that the August slump may have contributed to the Richmond win. "August was tough," Gordon said. "But the only way to survive a month like that or to get back in championship form is to believe in one another and move on. "We did everything right as a team in Richmond. Great pit stops, constantly adjusting on the car making it better, and great communication helped get that win." And the "issues" surrounding your Richmond win? "The intake manifold that NASCAR has taken issue with was not manufactured by Hendrick Motorsports," Gordon said. "It was manufactured by GM and we've used it since May. We've gone through numerous NASCAR inspections with the same piece without any problem. "It just upsets me because this team worked hard for that win in Richmond and I believe these allegations that we cheated will undeservedly overshadow that victory."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Robbie Loomis
Teams Hendrick Motorsports