for jeff and bill fans



Jeff Gordon has won four of the past five Winston Cup races at Watkins Glen International. Credit: Autostock
Gordon confident despite winless streak
August 8, 2002
2:07 PM EDT (1807 GMT)

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (AP) -- Despite going 29 races without a victory, Jeff Gordon has a shot at a fifth Winston Cup title.

He gets to drive this weekend on a track he has dominated.

"I know this team is capable of putting a string of wins together, and a win at Watkins Glen could be the spark we need," Gordon said. "If we can limit our mistakes and don't have mechanical problems, then we'll be a threat to win on Sunday."

Gordon will try for his fifth win in the last six years on the picturesque track in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.

Gordon isn't used to waiting this long between victories: He has 58 in his career and rarely has gone more than half a dozen events without winning.

Jeff Gordon has six top-five finishes in nine Winston Cup starts at Watkins Glen. Credit: Autostock
For all his disappointments this season, though, the 31-year-old Gordon is fourth in the Winston Cup standings, 125 points behind leader Sterling Martin with 15 races to go.

Gordon has won a record seven times on NASCAR's road courses, and Marlin is winless on such layouts. That gives Gordon possibly his best chance to make a major move since June's event at Infineon Raceway, where Gordon had won three times.

"I feel like we had the car to beat at Sonoma, but we broke a rear-end gear," he said.

Because of that, Gordon wound up 37th. He picked up just a few points on Marlin, who took last in a field of 43.

Gordon's past success on the 2.45-mile track at Watkins Glen is no guarantee he'll win here again, of course. Indeed, more and more drivers are taking road courses seriously.

"It used to be there were three or four guys who could win on the road courses," he said. "Now everyone realizes that you can't give away points during these two races and expect to win a championship, so everyone has stepped up their road-course programs."

Gordon sees Tony Stewart, Robby Gordon, Ricky Rudd, Dale Jarrett, Rusty Wallace and Jeff Burton as contenders Sunday
Perhaps Gordon also should keep an eye on Bill Elliott, a winner the last two weeks who also has two poles and three front-row starts in the last three races. Elliott hasn't won on a road course since 1983. Still, his car is owned by Ray Evernham, who, as a crew chief, guided Gordon to his first three wins at Watkins Glen.

"Ray's given me another chance," said Elliott, whose career was revived when Evernham chose him last year as the first driver for his start-up Dodge team. "I've got a good stable situation right now, and that helps me focus on doing what I need to do."

The edge was apparent the past two weeks, when Elliott won in Long Pond, Pa., and Indianapolis. He finished eighth on his last road course, at Infineon, and he's expecting a strong showing this weekend.

"I like road courses," Elliott said. "It's something a little different."

Stewart won last year at Infineon and has been a strong contender at Watkins Glen. He's on probation for the rest of the season after NASCAR fined him $10,000 for punching a photographer after a 12th-place finish in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Copyright 2002 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Nice Story. But at the Road Courses ya never know. Bill and Jeff should do well.
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