[media-credit name=”bristolmotorspeedway.com” align=”alignright” width=”199″][/media-credit]BRISTOL, Tenn.(March 13, 2012) – Sunday’s Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway marks only the fourth race of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, but (the) Chase is already on Jeff Gordon’s mind.
At the 0.533-mile track, Chase Card Services once again will appear on the No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, renewing their commitment to eliminate older adult hunger among Americans by donating up to $2 million this year.
“It’s great to have them back on board again this year,” said Gordon. “Chase Card Services partnered with the Drive To End Hunger program a few times last season and they’ve renewed and increased their presence (to five races) this season.
“Hopefully, we can kick off their involvement this year with a win this weekend.”
Gordon, a five-time Bristol winner, has always enjoyed the twice-yearly trip to the Tennessee track. But when asked about his favorite track, though, Bristol was not always mentioned.
“Any time you run well at a track, it always seems to move further up the list of your ‘favorites’,” said Gordon, who led 206 of the 500 laps last August here en route to a third-place finish in the event. “The way we ran last summer, I can’t wait for this weekend.”
Along with five wins, Gordon has five poles, 15 top-fives and 21 top-10’s in 38 starts at the high-banked track. He has led 2,646 laps at Bristol, which is 1,271 more than the nearest active competitor. To put that in perspective, he has led two-and-a-half more races than second place on the active driver list.
But leading the last lap is the most important Sunday – and again in September. When the points are reset following the 26th race, three points will be awarded for each win for drivers ranked 1 through 10 in the point standings. For those outside the top 10, wild card spots 11 and 12 in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup will be determined by number of wins accrued to that point – provided the driver is in the top 20 in the standings.
“I think we saw last year how important wins are during the Chase, and how important they were just getting into the Chase,” said Gordon, who has climbed from 35th to 17th in the point standings since experiencing engine issues in the season-opening Daytona 500. “But it’s still early and only the fourth race of the season, so there is a lot that still can – and will – happen.
“But if you make the Chase, 10 points earned now could pay huge dividends later in the year.”]