Martinsville: Race Preview
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 AXALTA CHEVROLET SS – 22ND IN STANDINGS
“I love the challenge of Martinsville. There’s one line there, and everybody is in it. You have to attack the corners at Martinsville, but you have to do it in a very smooth way – in a very patient way.
“When I first started racing at the Cup level, Martinsville was one of the toughest tracks for me. I think a lot of rookies will tell you that. It’s very difficult to find the balance of patience versus aggressiveness.
“We tested there in ’94 or ’95, and I remember making lap after lap after lap after lap with (former crew chief) Ray (Evernham) making adjustment after adjustment and nothing changing. Every change we did would not make the car go faster. I was frustrated. The team was frustrated. I finally said I’m just going to run a bunch of laps and try some things. During that run I found some things that started to work and I found a rhythm, and the lap times started dropping.
“The team asked me what I did, and I just told them I had been driving this place ‘wrong.’”
At Martinsville, Jeff Gordon has 8 wins, 28 top fives, 35 top tens, 9 poles, has led 3,720 laps, has an average starting position of 7.3 and an average finishing position of 6.8.