TEAM DUPONT CHASING NO. 23 AT MARTINSVILLE MARTINSVILLE, Va. (October 16, 2007) - Could this weekend be No. 23 for No. 24? Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, has followed up a win with another win 22 times during his 15-year...
TEAM DUPONT CHASING NO. 23 AT MARTINSVILLE
MARTINSVILLE, Va. (October 16, 2007) - Could this weekend be No. 23 for No. 24?
Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, has followed up a win with another win 22 times during his 15-year career. After consecutive victories at Talladega and Charlotte, the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion hopes to make it 23 in the Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway this Sunday. During the 2007 Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, Gordon has visited Victory Lane twice and posted four top-five finishes in five events. He has a 4.0 average finish in those races and has opened up a 68-point cushion over Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson in the standings. "We've had a great start to the Chase, but we can't let up," Gordon said. "Jimmie put together a great string of races last year to win the championship, and other Chase drivers have the ability to do that, as well.
"You have to be aggressive but smart and patient during the Chase. I believe that's what will win the championship. "Everybody's going to step up their game during the Chase, so we've got to step up our game, too. If they've stepped it up more than us during one particular weekend, we have to keep them in our sights.
"If they finish first or second, we need to finish third or fourth." In 29 starts at Martinsville, Gordon has collected seven wins, five poles, 17 top-fives and 23 top-10's. He has been running at the finish in each of the 29 events with an average finish of 7.3.
"For me, Martinsville was a difficult place to figure out early in my career," said Gordon. "It took a lot of laps during a test session - I think it was 1994 - before I found my rhythm here. "Throughout that test, nothing was working. So I just started trying some different things - like how I drove the car and attacked the track - and we hit on some things." Gordon has been on a bit of a tear recently at the 0.526-mile track, winning four of the last nine with nine top-10 finishes. And only three drivers have won here since 2005: Gordon, Johnson and Tony Stewart - three of the top four drivers in the standings. "Tony is very good here, and Clint Bowyer (third in the point standings) has been strong during the Chase," Gordon said. "Jimmie and I had a great battle over the closing laps during the spring race here and I expect the 48 team to be strong again.
"We just couldn't get the DuPont Chevrolet to turn the middle of the corners last time here, so we'll focus on making that better this weekend."
Which could mean Team DuPont goes back-to-back-to-back.