Gordon Going For Trifecta

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Heading into Saturday night’s Crown Royal Presents The Jim Stewart 400, there is only one question on the mind of every driver at Richmond International Raceway:

Can anybody stop Jeff Gordon from producing another record-breaking performance?

After starting the season with three runner-up and five top-five results in the first seven races, Gordon has been unbeatable the last two race weekends. He claimed victory at Phoenix International Raceway and at Talladega Superspeedway. The one-two punch has allowed Gordon to tie and pass Dale Earnhardt for sixth on the all-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series victories list.

"I’m still trying to figure out how I got to 77 (victories)," the driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet said after his victory last week. "I haven’t been able to reflect to even understand where 77 have even come from. It’s pretty unbelievable. In the 15 years I’ve been in this series we’ve won races in 14 seasons and that's to me, one of the impressive things that we've done and continue to do.

"Those are what build championship teams; those are what put those win numbers up there."

In order to keep his victory streak going, as well as stay atop the NEXTEL Cup Series championship standings, Gordon will have to find his magic touch here at Richmond once again.

Although Gordon has posted two victories, four Bud Pole Awards, 10 top fives and 16 top 10s in 28 career starts at the .75-mile track, he has found himself slumping recently, finishing 30th or worse in the last four races here.

"I enjoy racing at Richmond because it offers us the opportunity to race side-by-side, lap after lap through the corners," Gordon said. "It’s a great event that’s run under the lights, so it’s exciting for the fans and the drivers.

"But, it hasn’t been much fun for us the past few years. We’ve struggled here recently and we definitely want to turn that around."

If the first three Car of Tomorrow races are any indication, Gordon shouldn’t have any problems achieving his goal. Starting with the debut of the new car at Bristol Motor Speedway, Gordon has scored finishes of third, second (Martinsville Speedway) and first (Phoenix).

Add to that the extra practice time the team had here a few weeks back during the NEXTEL Cup Series test session, and the answer to the question on everybody’s mind could be a simple, "no."

"We tested here a couple weeks ago with the new Impala SS and I was pleased with the results," Gordon said. "But, we need to be sure to carry that over to this weekend. We’ve had an amazing start to the year, but a lot can happen before September. I’m sure we’ll face some obstacles before the season ends, and it’s important to deal with those situations in the correct manner. Richmond has been one of those obstacles recently for us."

Photos

  • From the Archives: Richmond
  • From the Archives: Richmond
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  • From the Archives: Richmond
  • From the Archives: Richmond
  • From the Archives: Richmond
  • From the Archives: Richmond
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  • From the Archives: Richmond
  • Remembering Steve Byrnes
  • Remembering Steve Byrnes
  • Remembering Steve Byrnes
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  • Remembering Steve Byrnes
  • Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes
  • Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes
  • Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes
  • Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes
  • Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes
  • Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes
  • Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes
  • Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes
  • Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes
  • Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes
  • Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes
  • Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes
  • Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes
  • Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes
  • Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes
  • Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes
  • Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes
  • Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes
  • Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes
  • Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes
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  • Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes
  • Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes
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  • From the Archives: Bristol
  • From the Archives: Bristol
  • From the Archives: Bristol

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