Gordon Does Not Want to Go Past Point of Know Return at Kansas
This Sunday in the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway, Jeff Gordon will be searching for that "feel" so he can find the edge of the tire grip - without going beyond.
Earlier this year at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Goodyear introduced a new multi-zone tread tire for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at the intermediate track. Gordon, who led 17 laps at Atlanta before ultimately finishing sixth, had high praise for the tire.
"I really enjoyed racing on the tire in Atlanta, and I'm looking forward to racing on it again this weekend," said Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Axalta Racing Chevrolet SS. "Even though it's been a couple races since it's been repaved, I still think of Kansas as a 'new' repave. There's more grip with the soft-side of the new tire and I hope it provides more forgiveness on the smooth track.
"And gives us a better feel for the grip level."
Last weekend at Dover, Gordon and the No. 24 team appeared to play the fuel mileage gamble correctly before a late-race caution ended that strategy. The four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion finished fourth and moved into a tie for fourth in the point standings. While he was able to cut three points off Matt Kenseth's points lead, a 39-point gap is not insurmountable according to Gordon.
"If Matt and Jimmie continue to post wins and good finishes, it's going to be difficult to catch them," said Gordon. "But I like how our team has stepped up during the Chase and we need to be ready to take advantage if they have a bad race.
"When running the way we are right now, you really look forward to the next race."
And that next race is Kansas where Gordon has two wins (2001 and 2002), eight top-fives and 10 top-10's in 15 starts. Here in April after crashing during qualifying, Gordon raced from the rear of the field in a backup car to inside the top 10 with just under 100 laps remaining. But a caution waved during his final pit stop trapping him one lap down. Once the leaders made their final stop under caution and Gordon moved back onto the lead lap, he 'waved around' the pace car and restarted 22nd with just 43 laps to go. Gordon finished 13th.
"We had a disappointing start to that weekend, but this team worked hard and the backup car was fast," said Gordon. "Our setups have evolved a lot since then, so we'll work hard again starting with Thursday's test and see if we can have another strong car for Sunday's race."
With a strong result to match.
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