No. 24 gunning for No. 5 at 2.45 mile track

Jeff Gordon is ready to turn the corner(s).


The all-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series leader in road course victories with nine, Gordon has experienced success at Watkins Glen International. In 20 starts at the 2.45-mile track, the driver of the No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS has four wins, two poles, six top-fives and nine top-10’s. But while he has reeled off eight consecutive top-10 finishes at Sonoma, Gordon has only two here during that span.


“You approach the two tracks differently,” said Gordon, who moved up to ninth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings following his runner-up finish at Pocono Sunday. “Sonoma is a ‘finesse’ track while Watkins Glen is a track that you have to attack and be aggressive.


“We used to head into road course events feeling confident we would gain points and have a shot at the win. With the competition so much stronger, it’s a battle just to get a top 10 now.


“But I feel good about our road course program. We had a runner-up finish at Sonoma earlier this year and I felt we learned a lot in the second half of this race last year.


“And the road course test we did earlier this year was more for this race instead of Sonoma, so I’m hoping that pays off this weekend.”


The introduction of the Generation-6 car to the New York track should make an already fast track even faster, while a returning component will make the race exciting. And crazy.


 “I expect it to be an exciting race, especially the restarts,” said Gordon. “Like we’ve seen recently on the road courses, the double-file restarts should be wild and crazy.


 “The new Chevy SS has a lot of downforce and drag which helps you get into the braking zones, so I expect the lap times to be quicker here this weekend compared to years past. But the faster you’re going, the more ‘on edge’ you are with the car and the tires.”


If he can master the new car and the double-file restarts Sunday, Gordon would be the first to reach double-digit road course wins.