Richmond: Jeff Gordon preview

Veterans Are Back, Gordon Goes For Three-Peat in Richmond RICHMOND, Va. - Joey Sindelar won the Wachovia Championship last Sunday in Charlotte, scoring his first PGA Tour win since 1990. Rusty Wallace ended his 105-race winless streak with a...

Veterans Are Back, Gordon Goes For Three-Peat in Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. - Joey Sindelar won the Wachovia Championship last Sunday in Charlotte, scoring his first PGA Tour win since 1990. Rusty Wallace ended his 105-race winless streak with a victory at Martinsville last month, and four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon posted his second-straight victory of the season at California Speedway proving that the veterans are back.

Many of the young guns were favored heading into the season. However, as Gordon's 12th full Cup season takes shape, his performance has many considering him a favorite for the 2004 title since he has marched his way to third in the NASCAR NEXTEL point standings, just two points out of second-place behind teammate Jimmie Johnson and 27 points behind first-place Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

"It's been an amazing four or five races that we've had," said Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet. "It makes me really proud to get behind the wheel of that car when you know what you've got. This team is just awesome. These guys never give up. They just work so hard."

Gordon's recent domination on the track does not stop with his back-to-back victories. He is the only driver to post eight top-10 finishes this season, including three top five's. Although, untimely circumstances at Darlington, Texas and Martinsville took away his chances at three additional wins.

In Darlington, a lapped car took him out of contention after having one of the fastest cars, leaving him with a 41st-place finish. Then the bad luck followed Gordon to Texas, where he led 47 laps only to have the alternator on his Chevrolet drain the primary battery as well as his chances for another victory. And who can forget Martinsville, where he led the most laps of the day and was in prime position for a victory when a piece of concrete from the track struck his car which ultimately kept him from contending at the end of the event.

With back-to-back victories and momentum on his side, Gordon will head to Richmond International Raceway, a track where he has two victories, 14 top-10's and four Bud Poles. He heads to the .75-mile track to vie for the three peat, which is something he accomplished in 1996 and 1998.

"Richmond has always been a good track for us," said Gordon. "We only have two wins here, but as long as we're running at the finish, we always seem to be in contention.

"A lot of that success may be due to the fact that I really enjoy racing here. If I built a track, I would model it after this one. It's a great facility that offers great racing with more than one groove. You can race side-by-side here lap after lap and the fans really seem to love it.

"But at the checkered flag, you're hoping the side-by-side racing is in your rear-view mirror."

-hm/pprplus-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Gordon , Jimmie Johnson