Gordon Looks For Plate Magic

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Jeff Gordon's 12 restrictor plate race wins tops the NASCAR record book and the four-time champion hopes his first win of the season will be his 13th plate victory in Saturday night's Coke Zero 400.

The Hendrick Motorsports driver has been shut-out of victory lane so far this year but a return to "The World Center of Racing," where the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet has taken the checkered flag six times, could be the trick to snap the drought.

"At Daytona and Talladega, you're trying to get yourself into a position to challenge for the victory in the closing laps," Gordon said. "You have to be smart during the race and understand your surroundings – try to stay away from bad situations.

"But Daytona is much more of a handling track. While the fans will see the usual two- and three-wide racing early in the runs, the better handling cars will make their way to the front later in the runs."

Gordon enters the weekend sixth in the series point standings with seven top five and eight top-10 finishes.

His Daytona record includes 11 top five and 17 top-10 finishes in 31 career starts, but he hasn't won since 2005.

Gordon finished 39th in February's Daytona 500 and has finished outside the top 10 in three of his last five Daytona starts.

"We were strong during the event," Gordon said of his 500 run. "The car handled well, and we were fast before the failure. We're going to make sure we don’t have that problem again.

"We'll arrive with that base setup for this weekend's race. The conditions will be much different – much warmer, with slicker track conditions – but we'll work off that setup."

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