Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NEWSMAKER: JEFF GORDON; Hungry Gordon Is Not Big Fan of Chase Format

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NEWSMAKER: JEFF GORDON; Hungry Gordon Is Not Big Fan of Chase Format

Article excerpt

Jeff Gordon improved to fifth place in the Chase for the Championship standings with a second-place finish last week at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.

Gordon, a four-time champion, is looking for his first title under the Chase format. He talked recently about his chances in the playoffs, including challenging three-time defending champion - and Hendrick Motorsports teammate - Jimmie Johnson.

Here are excerpts of that interview:

Does it wear on you that you haven't won a championship since the 2001 season?

Well, I mean, doesn't really matter if it's your teammate or not, when you've had the kind of year that we've had with the DuPont Chevrolet, and we've been competitive, and we've been consistent, and it all comes down to those final 10 races in the Chase as to whether you're going to win the championship or not. The first two don't go the way you'd like them to, and you could get beat by anybody, and then your teammates are up there winning the first two races. It's very frustrating. It's frustrating that we are not living up to our full potential, but at the same time, we are only two races in. It's not something that we are really overthinking or spending too much time on, we certainly are working hard, and we have had some things that haven't gone our way.

We know that if those guys continue the way that they are, we have got to win to gain points on them. And that's certainly a lot to ask for. But in my opinion, it's still doable.

After winning four championships in a seven-year stretch, did you ever think it would take this long to win another one?

Well, I never thought I would win four championships or three, two, or one. I mean, I just never thought I could come into this level of competition and you know, I remember when I signed with Hendrick, I had people doubting that decision, and they had never won a championship. So, you know, I have exceeded all of my expectations, but at the same time, as you win championships and you win races, it raises your goals up to another level, and sort of creates new expectations. …

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