Talladega: Jeff Gordon preview

TALLADEGA A SEVENTH HEAVEN FOR GORDON? TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 20, 2010) - If Jeff Gordon is in contention when the white flag waves in Sunday's Aaron's 499, history shows there is a good chance he will score his seventh win at Talladega ...

TALLADEGA A SEVENTH HEAVEN FOR GORDON?

TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 20, 2010) - If Jeff Gordon is in contention when the white flag waves in Sunday's Aaron's 499, history shows there is a good chance he will score his seventh win at Talladega Superspeedway.

In his last 12 starts at the 2.66-mile superspeedway, Gordon has four top-10 finishes - each of those victories. The last occurred in 2007 with a 'wing,' but Sunday marks the reintroduction of a spoiler to restrictor-plate racing. While there are changes this weekend, there remains a constant.

"You need to make sure you're there at the end - when all the action is going to happen," said the driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet. "There are still going to be differing strategies with guys racing hard up front for the lead and positions, and there are going to be some wanting to hang in back.

"Either way, it's usually an extremely exciting race with a great finish." Before the season-opening Daytona 500, NASCAR relaxed bump-drafting restrictions for competitors. Gordon did not notice much of a change in that event but would not be surprised if it is more noticeable this weekend.

"I never really thought bump drafting went away," said Gordon, who has six wins, one pole, 13 top-fives and 16 top-10's in 34 starts at the Alabama track. "Daytona is more of a handling track, so I don't think we saw the bump drafting get that aggressive there.

"We'll really see how aggressive we can be this weekend. But I also think if it gets too aggressive, then the drivers may want to just 'ride' in the middle of the race.

"But it's just a matter of time before the drivers decide it's time to go, and you see the whole field spread out three and four wide."

Which leads to spectacular racing at the high-banked track.

"It's hard to have a bad race at Talladega, and that's why I tell my friends this is a race track where they should attend a race," said Gordon. "The races are pretty darn good here.

"Especially at the end when it's wild and crazy." And especially when Gordon is in contention at the end.

-source: pprp

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon