Jeff Gordon and the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet are all charged up heading into Sunday’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS).
In July at “The Magic Mile,” Gordon led by more than three seconds before his No. 24 Chevrolet lost power at the halfway point of the 301-lap event. The three-time NHMS winner then lost a lap on pit road while the crew replaced the battery.
The real issue was the alternator not charging the battery, so Gordon was forced to limit electrical use the remainder of the event. He battled back from a lap down to a top-five position, but the right-front tire blew on the penultimate lap and Gordon limped to an 11th-place finish.
“We had a fast car that day, and I’m really looking forward to going back there this weekend,” said Gordon. “Even after losing the lap because of the battery change, we were still able to work our way up through traffic pretty well.
“I wasn’t able to run any blowers (because of the electrical issues) and I think that’s what blew the right front at the end of the race. Hopefully, we don’t have any issues like that Sunday.”
He did experience several issues during his 24th-place finish in the rain-delayed event at Chicago on Monday. Gordon battled back from a lap down after a tire issue before the fuel cell ran dry in his No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet two laps from the checkered flag. He finished 24th and is now 11th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings, 25 markers out of the lead.
“That is not how we wanted to start the Chase,” said Gordon. “We battled hard throughout the event, and that’s what we’re going to do at New Hampshire and the other eight races.”
In 33 starts at the 1.058-mile track, Gordon has three wins and three poles. He also has 14 top-fives, 18 top-10’s and has led 1,226 laps – all tops in those categories.
“I do feel confident whenever we race here, but a lot of that is the car and the setup,” said Gordon.
“This track has some very unique things that make it challenging, though. It’s flat, and there are some bumps getting into the corners.
“While we ran well here a few months ago, we’ll see what we have on Friday when we unload. Hopefully, we’ll be just as competitive and battling for the win come Sunday.”
A win would certainly re-charge Team DuPont for the final eight races of the 2011 season.
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