BROOKLYN, Mich. – While there is more than a race “difference” compared with 2012, Jeff Gordon does not expect much difference at Michigan International Speedway this weekend.
Gordon enters Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup event, the 15th race of the season, 11th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings with 393 markers. Last year at this juncture he was 22nd and had only accumulated 336 points. That difference of 57 is more than can be earned in one race.
“We are further up in the standings but we’re going to need to battle just as hard as we did last year over the summer months to earn a Chase spot,” said Gordon, referring to one of 12 “Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup” berths available after race No. 26 at Richmond, Va. “But our focus doesn’t need to be on anyone else – it needs to remain on what we as a team are doing.
“And doing everything possible to win.”
In 40 starts at the two-mile track, the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion has two wins, five pole positions, 18 top-five finishes and 25 top-10s. But much of that occurred on a track surface that was repaved prior to last year’s events.
“The track has gone through a winter, but I don’t expect it to have ‘aged’ much since the last time we were here in August,” said Gordon. “I don’t expect it to be much different.
“It’s still going to be real fast.”
One big difference is the car. New this season is the Generation-6 race car, and Gordon does not know what to expect from the No. 24 Chevrolet SS – although the common denominator between car and track seems to be “fast.”
“The new car is the biggest change,” said the 87-time NASCAR Sprint Cup race winner. “I don’t know how the new car will react on the big race track, but I’m very optimistic heading into the race weekend. I’m looking forward to going fast.
“And getting the Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS dialed in.”
-Hendrick Motorsports PR