Richmond: Jeff Gordon preview

RICHMOND, Va. (April 28, 2009) - While he believes "Everybody Loves Richmond" because it is a great show, Jeff Gordon will need the breaks -- and the brakes - to go his way during the Crown Royal Presents the Russ Friedman 400. "I think...

RICHMOND, Va. (April 28, 2009) - While he believes "Everybody Loves

Richmond" because it is a great show, Jeff Gordon will need the breaks -- and the brakes - to go his way during the Crown Royal Presents the Russ Friedman 400. "I think everybody loves Richmond," said Gordon. "Any time you go to a track that has multiple racing grooves, it's something that all the drivers are going to like.

"And I think it's a great show for the fans because there's a lot going on and a lot of action. It's typical short-track racing, but there's multiple grooves.

"There were a couple years when we struggled at this track, and a lot of it was with the brakes," said Gordon, referring to a stretch of four races in 2005 and 2006 when his best finish was 30th. "We seem to have that figured out, so we're looking at this track as one where we can have another strong finish."

Gordon, who was involved in an early multi-car accident at Talladega last weekend, is now second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings - only five points out of the lead. He has posted top-five finishes in each of the first two short track events this season and will attempt to extend that streak in his 555th career start.

In 32 starts at the three-quarter mile track, Gordon has two wins, five poles, 12 top- fives, 20 top-10's and an average starting position of 7.8. But qualifying well does not always guarantee success, evidenced by the fact he has finished 30th or worse in four of the five races that he started from the pole.

While Friday's on-track action for NASCAR's premier series ends with qualifying, it begins with adaptation.

"Things are constantly changing in the sport," said Gordon. "As things evolve, you adjust what you've done in the past.

"You would think you run the same groove, the same line, and accelerate and brake at the same points. But sometimes that doesn't work and you have to change one or more of those.

"It's the same for the setup. We'll probably start with something close to what has

worked for us in the past. If that isn't working, we move in a different direction."

If all goes well for Team DuPont at Richmond International Raceway, the closing credits may just show the No. 24 team in Victory Lane.

-credit: hm

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon