Pocono Jeff Gordon Preview

GORDON'S COMPETITIVE SPIRIT OVERRIDES CONTENTMENT LONG POND, Pa.-- Last weekend Jeff Gordon finished second at Michigan but was not satisfied. In a season consisting of four DNF's for Jeff Gordon and his DuPont Automotive...

GORDON'S COMPETITIVE SPIRIT OVERRIDES CONTENTMENT

LONG POND, Pa.-- Last weekend Jeff Gordon finished second at Michigan but was not satisfied. In a season consisting of four DNF's for Jeff Gordon and his DuPont Automotive Finishes team after 14 of 34 events, you would think that a top-five finish by any means would be cause for celebration -- or at least contentment. Not so. Not when you're a racer who thrives on competition. And competition was certainly lacking last weekend when, for most of the event, points leader Dale Jarrett dominated, Jeff Burton ran third and both were out of Gordon's sight as he ran second. "I hope that this Sunday's race at Pocono is more exciting than last weekend's," said Gordon. "I'm happy that we got a second-place finish but I would much rather be competitive and get beat because of fuel mileage -- like we did a couple weeks ago in Dover -- than just ride around out there by myself. "Michigan was one of the most frustrating races I've ever experienced. I didn't even see Jarrett most of the day and I didn't have anybody coming up from behind to challenge. It was just a boring race." However, competition is also about winning and there have been many occasions when Gordon has admittedly created races that were less than exciting as he ran away with the lead. The last race at Pocono is one instance. Gordon led 164 of 200 laps and won the Pennsylvania 500. There was no frustration that day. "The perfect race is starting on the pole and leading every lap," said Gordon. "However, that's not necessarily the most exciting. "Daytona this year was fun. Racing Dale Earnhardt right down to the finish to win the Daytona 500....now that's an exciting race." Gordon's chances of being the one to beat this weekend are good. In the last four races at Pocono, Gordon has finished no lower than second -- two victories and two runner-up spots. Overall, Gordon has three wins, two poles, eight top-five and nine top-10 finishes in 12 starts at Pocono. He has completed 90 percent of the laps and has led in all but three of those races. His average finish at Pocono is 9.2. Currently, Gordon is sixth in the point standings, 349 away from the top spot. He has won three races and four poles along with eight top-five and nine top-10 finishes this season. "We've got to worry about running good and winning races," Gordon said. "This team is strong and we never give up -- not ever." Now that's competitive spirit.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett