Gordon seeks win to continue Chase rebound
BY JENNA FRYER Associated Press
Friday, October 12, 2012
10/12/12 at 6:15 AM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - If nothing else this season, Jeff Gordon has proved to be a man of his word.
He promised to grow back the cheesy mustache he sported at the start of his career if he made the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, and made good on it after squeaking past Kyle Busch to get into the 12-driver field. Now, he's promised to break-dance in Victory Lane if he wins this weekend's race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
He hasn't won at Charlotte since 2007. But don't rule out seeing the 41-year-old Gordon bust out a windmill or the worm on Saturday night.
Gordon is on an absolute tear of late, notching six top-three finishes in the last seven races. The lone blemish is a big one, though: A stuck throttle in the Chase opener at Chicago caused a crash and a 35th-place finish.
He followed that with a third-place finish at New Hampshire and runner-up finishes at Dover and Talladega. But he is still just sixth in the Chase and trails leader Brad Keselowski by 42 points. Gordon admitted after Sunday's finish at Talladega that he is frustrated at how hard it's been to climb through the standings.
He remains confident his No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team can get back in the title hunt.
"We can sit there and really get mad about what happened in Chicago, but the reality of it is all we can do is go each and every week and keep trying to put ourselves in position to win and get top-fives," he said. "It is certainly not over yet."
Charlotte is a good track for Gordon to potentially make up some ground. He's a five-time winner at Charlotte, the "home track" for Hendrick Motorsports and the place Gordon's team owner considers a high priority.
The 1.5-mile track has been good to the four-time NASCAR champion, and was the site of his first career pole in 1993 and his first Cup victory the following year. Gordon suffered a long drought at Charlotte from 2000 to 2007, when he won the Chase race that fall.
Gordon suffered through a mini-slump with three consecutive finishes in the 20s, but snapped it in May with a strong run in the Coca-Cola 600, finishing seventh after starting 23rd.
"I think we can be even stronger this weekend because our setups are better now," Gordon said. "This is as excited as I've been heading into Charlotte in quite a while."
Biffle leads Chase drivers in Charlotte qualifying: Greg Biffle won the pole for Saturday night's race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Biffle turned a track-record lap of 193.708 mph in his No. 16 Ford and will start alongside Mark Martin on the front row.
Original Print Headline: Gordon recovering in Chase standings