Jeff Gordon is not a big believer in it, but maybe he can find the luck of the Irish (Hills) in the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday.
With the No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet fast on many occasions this year without the results to match, many of Gordon's fans began sending good luck charms to him. While he was not afraid to try them, the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion does not necessarily believe in luck.
"My wife (Ingrid Vandebosch) has given me things and my daughter (Ella) has given me things to put in the car for luck," said Gordon. "Even fans have sent in things to the team. But I think when I won at Pocono it was the first time in quite a while that I did not have some sort of good luck charm in the car.
"So far, my theory holds true. It's not about luck and good luck charms; it's about going out there and performing and doing what you have to do as a team."
In 39 starts at the track in the Irish Hills of Michigan, Gordon has two wins (1998 and 2001), five poles, 18 top-fives and 25 top-10's. But the track was repaved prior to the event in June, and the No. 24 team and Hendrick Motorsports adapted to the new surface quickly.
"We were pretty solid here in June and (Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt) Junior won, so we can certainly carry a lot over from that race," said Gordon, who earned his 400th top-10 finish with a sixth-place finish in that event. "We also did the tire test here at the end of July.
"That test didn't go spectacularly well for us, but we knew it was just more of a test to try and learn things."
Four races remain before the 12-driver "Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup" field is set and Gordon is again on the outside looking in. If he is to secure one of those spots, it will take strong performances on race days - and the days leading up to the drop of the green flag.
"We have to qualify better," said Gordon, who qualified 28th here in June and 27th en route to his victory at Pocono. "Track position can play a huge role during the race, so it's better to have early than to fight for it all race long.
"Right now, qualifying is a priority for us."
And so is winning. With or without lucky charms.
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