DRIVER STANDINGS: Gordon, who already clinched his spot inside the upcoming Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, remains second in the standings going into Saturday night's regular season-finale at Richmond. After 25 races this season, he has scored...
DRIVER STANDINGS: Gordon, who already clinched his spot inside the upcoming Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, remains second in the standings going into Saturday night's regular season-finale at Richmond. After 25 races this season, he has scored 10 top-five finishes, 13 top-10s and led 813 laps.
RICHMOND CHASSIS: Crew chief Steve Letarte has chosen Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 24-542 for Saturday night's race at Richmond. Gordon led 92 laps and drove this car to a third-place finish at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in March. In June, he drove this car to a fourth-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
JEFF GORDON, DRIVER, NO. 24 DUPONT/NATIONAL GUARD MILITARY INTELLIGENCE CHEVROLET (ON HAVING THE NATIONAL GUARD ON THE HOOD AT RICHMOND.): "The National Guard and I are proud to recognize the professionals who work in the Army Military Intelligence. These highly trained Soldiers are the skilled individuals who work behind the scenes and provide the intelligence needed for missions. We hope to end the regular season this weekend on a high note and then carry that momentum into the first Chase race next weekend at New Hampshire. It's all about teamwork with the National Guard, just like it is with our DuPont/National Guard team."
STEVE LETARTE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 24 DUPONT/NATIONAL GUARD MILITARY INTELLIGENCE CHEVROLET (ON THE RICHMOND RACE BEING THE CHASE CUTOFF.): "Richmond is an interesting week. You kind of start the year off wanting to be in the Chase. That's your No. 1 goal. And then as you get closer and closer and closer to making it, all of a sudden you start to realize you haven't won a race and you need to run better. Fortunately for the No. 24 team, we made the Chase a few weeks ago and now we're working on winning races, and Richmond is one that comes to mind that I feel we could have won in the spring. We had a great car that night and it just came down to a last restart and we weren't quite good enough to beat the No. 18 car so it was an exciting race for sure but it didn't end up quite how we had hoped. To go back to Richmond and have the National Guard on board, it's a cool-looking paint scheme -- something a little different with cool colors. I think it will look good under the lights. We're excited."
LETARTE (ON THE RICHMOND FALL RACE.): "It's a very interesting race. It's an interesting dynamic because it's almost like the All-Star race. No matter where we finish at Richmond, we're going to come out of there lower in the points then we went in. It's not feasibly possible for us to gain anything. There are a couple teams with five wins, a couple with three so to get a win there would be good for the bonus points but way more than the bonus points, it's very important for us to go there to lead laps and to bring a car capable of winning even if we don't win to prove to ourselves that we can do it. We need to build a little momentum. We seemed to struggle the last month or so, so Richmond is a really good track for us. Hopefully we can do it there."
LETARTE (ON RACING AT RICHMOND.): "Richmond is just very unique. It reminds me of the short track racing I grew up around. It's bigger than anything you'd ever run on with a late model -- three-quarters of a mile -- but for a stock car, that's pretty small. It has some banking, but not a ton of banking. It has two or three grooves. It has everything you'd ask for in a racetrack. I think it's some of the best racing we put on all year long. It has two different straightaways which makes the interest of both corners so different. It's really classic short track racing. It's under the lights on Saturday night. It's kind of what you grew up doing so I think it helps our mindset.
"Jeff's very good there. There are a lot of ways you can run Richmond. You can run around the bottom. You can run around the top. You can diamond the corner. Another thing that helps us is all our practices will be Friday during the day so no one will have the correct track conditions, and I feel that our team adapts better than any and we have a veteran driver that knows what the track should do the next night. We might not be the fastest on Friday in practice but we have pretty good confidence we'll know what we have come Saturday night."
LETARTE (ON APPLYING RICHMOND TO THE CHASE.): "Well, Richmond doesn't apply much to Loudon (New Hampshire). Everybody wants to make them the same, but they are quite different. I think the big thing that Richmond does is help us prepare for Phoenix (International Raceway). Turns 1 and 2 of Phoenix are really a lot like Richmond. It's kind of banked and has a little bit wider exit. What Richmond really can do for the Chase is build confidence -- it's a perfect example of a track you were just at a couple months ago and you look at how your team has improved since then. So even though Richmond is not in the Chase, it's a great opportunity to say two months ago we were here with X, and here we are two months later. Are we better? Are we the same? Are we worse? What tools have we learned? Drive off is a premium at Richmond. It will be a premium again at Loudon. While it might not be the same tools, if your computer programs and your testing and your seven posts have helped drive off at Richmond, hopefully you can take some of that to Loudon."
-source: hendrick motorsports