Martinsville A Gordon Favorite

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MARTINSVILLE, Va. - Jeff Gordon has seven career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories at Martinsville Speedway and has his sights set on adding another to his resume in Sunday's Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500.

The Virginia short track is obviously high on the list of the four-time champion's favorites, for a variety of reasons in addition to his stellar record.

"The race track. I love this track," Gordon said. "It seems like a natural fit for my driving style. Our race cars are always fast here.

"I just love the challenges of this race track and what it presents to a driver — how hard to drive into the corner without over driving the corner, what you have to tell the team to get the car to work through the corner and off the corner, to try to go out there and win the race. It's a fun track to tune [the car] on."

Gordon is off to a decent start to the season after a solid campaign a year ago. Although there has been a few missed opportunities along the way, including a tire gamble at Las Vegas that didn't pay off, Gordon likes the direction the DuPont No. 24 team is headed.

"I feel like we've definitely made progress, and that most of the progress has been on the communication between myself and (crew chief) Steve (Letarte) and our engineers. That's what we focused on the most over the off season was really talking about how we dissect everything that we talk about over the radio throughout the weekend. We talked about how we go through data, adjustments, and everything before qualifying or after practice or even during a race."

Gordon also believes there is always something gained by his team every week on the track, even when things don't particularly go its way.

"I feel like we've really made some gains there," he said. "Even last week at Bristol we had a moment where we started to lose position and we got it back. That's what I'm most proud of with this race team even though we haven't had the results to show for it yet other than at Vegas. I feel like it's something we're capable of doing."

And Gordon is definitely capable at winning at Martinsville, a track that if he had his way would remain a two-stop visit on the Sprint Cup tour for many years to come.

"I think it's important to keep short tracks on the circuit," he said. "I think that this is what the history of the sport has been built on. And I think it's some of our best racing and the best action that we have. I'm a big fan of growing the sport and reaching out to new fans, but I also know how important our core fans are in the history of our sport. Martinsville pretty much epitomizes that and I'd love to see it stay with both races."

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