GORDON LOOKING FOR RESULTS AT POCONO, NOT JUST PASSING CARS July 19, 2005 LONG POND, Pa. - In his last three starts at Pocono Raceway, Jeff Gordon has led 30 laps, posted two top-five finishes and three top-10's. What is not evident in those ...
GORDON LOOKING FOR RESULTS AT POCONO, NOT JUST PASSING CARS
July 19, 2005
LONG POND, Pa. - In his last three starts at Pocono Raceway, Jeff Gordon has led 30 laps, posted two top-five finishes and three top-10's. What is not evident in those statistics is the number of cars he passed and how competitive his No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet was during those events. The four-time NASCAR Cup champion hopes another strong run in this Sunday's Pennsylvania 500 leads to victory - and leads to the consistency needed to earn a spot in the "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup."
In June of 2004 at the 2.5-mile track, Gordon unofficially passed 55 cars during the 200-lap event and finished fourth. Leading with 33 laps to go, he was forced to pit for fuel and restarted 17th. He recovered to post a top-five finish.
In the second event at Pocono in 2004, Gordon once again fought back from deep in the field for a top-five finish. Earlier this year, contact with the turn 2 wall during qualifying forced Gordon to start the race from the rear of the field. After working his way up to fourth, an unscheduled pit stop for tires dropped him to 31st just past halfway. He recovered to finish ninth.
Overall, the 72-time race winner has posted three wins, two poles, 12 top-fives and 18 top-10's in 25 career starts. His 841 laps led is the most of any driver at the Pennsylvania track.
"We've passed too many cars at Pocono recently not to have won," Gordon said. "But that type of competitiveness is what we're looking for again this weekend."
"That's what we are looking for every weekend."
Gordon, who has only two top-10 finishes in his last nine races, knows Team DuPont needs to be competitive on a weekly basis before focusing on a championship.
"We ran well last week at Loudon and were battling for a top-five finish when I lost the brakes," said Gordon, who nursed his car to a 25th-place finish at New Hampshire International Speedway last Sunday. "A championship is not on our mind right now. Being competitive, having good pit stops and battling for top-fives week-in-and-week-out is our focus."
"Right now, it seems that nothing is going our way. But I can't complain too much, because I've been very fortunate throughout my career. When we get out of this current slump, we can just as easily go on a tear."
Something like he experienced during his 1998 championship season when, during the final 20 races of that year, Gordon finished outside the top three only three times - and those finishes were fifth, fifth and seventh.
"We are capable of so much more than we've shown recently," Gordon said. "Everybody on this team knows that."
"We just need to show it."