When the Sprint Cup Series cars take to the Daytona International Speedway tonight for the running of the Coke Zero 400, all 43 drivers will have the same thought. “Please let me survive the night and go home with a decent finish.” This is no different whether you are a driver near the back of the field or a four-time champion like Jeff Gordon.
“The first thing you have to do is to survive here. You have to get to the final laps, which is not an easy thing to do. We are going to look at where we qualify, we will base our strategy on that as well as how things went the last time we were here, and that is how we are going to run this race. We are just going to have to come with the best strategy that is going to get us a win and get us a good finish. If we are in the closing laps of the race and we have a shot at winning it, then we are going to go for it. You have to go for the win and that’s always the case,” Gordon told media members Thursday from the track.
Gordon, the winner of six races at the speedway, knows time is ticking on him getting into Chase position.
“We have just had such an inconsistent year and so many crazy things thrown at us that I am impressed that we are 12th, and I am pretty happy with that to be honest with you. I feel like we have so much more potential that if we just live up to our potential that there is no doubt that we can get in the top-10. Every year we see where those positions eight through 14 or 15 are just crazy swapping every single weekend. So we just have to go out there and focus, do our job – do it well, and get to the tracks like New Hampshire that are coming up. We also need to do well at some of these other tracks that are coming up, and get some great finishes and make sure that we do that,” commented Gordon.
The attempt for win number seven at Daytona and to get him that much closer to a Chase birth begins from the 23rd starting position. The race can be seen live tonight at 7:30 PM EST on TNT.