HOMESTEAD, FLA. (November 16, 2010) – Jeff Gordon may not be one of the three drivers battling in the closest-ever “Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup” but he can make history of his own in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday.
In 18 full seasons in NASCAR’s top division, Gordon has collected 82 wins on 23 tracks – including 21 of the 22 facilities currently on the schedule.
The only Victory Lane visit that has eluded the driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet is Homestead-Miami Speedway – site of the Ford 400.
“We’ve had some good runs here in the past, we just haven’t been able to get that win,” said Gordon, who is sixth in the point standings. “We want to get that win because winning is what drives us. We’re not trying to win because of a statistic, although it would be pretty cool to have won at every track.”
While he has not won in 11 starts here, his five top-fives and nine top-10 finishes are tops at the South Florida track. “Homestead is a fun, fast race track,” said Gordon, who has yet to win poles here, at Las Vegas and at Kansas.
“It has big, sweeping corners but, because of the South Florida summers, the track seems to lose more and more grip. The groove seems to widen out and move up to the top of the race track.
“It creates very challenging situations because it’s very fast but the grip’s not fantastic. The grip goes away pretty fast from new tires, so getting the balance right is very challenging.”
All eyes – including Gordon’s – will be on the tight, three-way battle for the title. He may give the championship contenders some extra room during the race, but not if victory is on the line.
“You don’t want to be the guy that costs somebody the championship because you did something dumb racing for 10th place,” said Gordon.
“But I think those guys also have to recognize that you’re trying to win the race. “If it’s for any place other than a race win, I’m probably going to give them a little bit of extra room knowing there is a championship on the line.
“But if we’re battling for a win, I don’t care who it is. I’m going to race them hard just like I would any other weekend to try to win the race.”