Jeff Gordon talks Kansas, points

5 Jun

On Saturday Jeff Gordon talked to reporters outside his #24 hauler. Gordon has one win this season, at Phoenix, and he currently sits 16th in the points. Here’s a Q&A snippet of what he had to say.

Q: How has Kansas Speedway changed since you began racing here?

A: To me this track has just gotten better and better every single year. I loved it from the beginning obviously, but like all tracks do, over time as they settle in, you get some different characteristics that come into play, some different bumps, you see the pavement start to wear a little bit. But here in Kansas I think those things really only made the track better because the wear, the way it wears the tires, the grip level, just makes for multiple groups. We already saw yesterday in practice, cars up against the wall, cars on the bottom, cars in the middle. That’s going to make for a great race here.

Q: Having raced here before, how much use do you get out of the notes that your team brings in?

A: Things change so quickly in this sport, especially over the off-season when you get the teams that … in the Chase, gave everything that they had to have fast racecars and then they go in the offseason with that knowledge, and some go in the offseason knowing that what they had wasn’t working and they just go to work.

So it’s amazing how much can change over the offseason. Not to mention Goodyear constantly trying to improve the tires for this racecar, for these racetracks. For some of those teams, definitely make you have to stay on top of things in a big way. So those [notes] from last year, they definitely help us a little bit here, but a lot of things have changed so we can’t go off of that too much, but this race, until the second race, it’ll be interesting to see how accurate [those notes are]. I think they’ll be fairly accurate.

Q: With your position in the points, although you have a win, are you kind of in a nervous area right now?

A: I’m certainly not comfortable with it. It’s not a good place to be. To me, I guess I look at it a little bit different. It’s not just about being in the top 10 in points; it’s about being a threat for the championship. And yeah, you have to be in the top 10 or 12, but in order to do that, and you can improve your program by the time the Chase comes around, and be in there for the championship, so that’s why we can’t give up. We’ve got to work hard to improve all the time.

But I think from a points standpoint right now, what we have to focus on is winning races because if we can win another one or two races, to me that locks us in … Not only locks us in, but gives us momentum to actually be a threat for the championship. And we’ve gotten ourselves behind, and that’s obvious. It shows, where we’re at in the points. We’ve been inconsistent and we haven’t performed the way we need to.

So to me it’s not just about being in the top 12, it’s about being in the top 12 and being a real threat for the championship. And so we definitely have work to do. But I’m excited. This weekend, things have gone really well.

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