• 84°

NASCAR: Gordon gets 66th pole

By Dan Gelston
Associated Press
DOVER, Del. ó Jeff Gordon is looking for small victories.
Winning the pole at Dover International Speedway was a nice one to get.
The four-time Cup champion took the top spot with a lap of 157.061 mph Friday, a sorely needed lift as he tries to snap his season-long winless drought and make a big move up the Chase for the championship standings.
Gordon is 11th in the points race behind co-leaders Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson.
“We’re certainly not out of the championship, we understand that,” Gordon said. “It’s too early to ever count yourself out of that. We’re too good of a team to every count ourselves out. We would never do that mentally.”
Seven Chase drivers will start in the top 11 of Sunday’s race. Denny Hamlin starts third, Greg Biffle fifth, Clint Bowyer sixth, Matt Kenseth eighth, Dale Earnhardt Jr. 10th, and Kyle Busch is 11th.
“There’s no doubt he’s as good as Jimmie Johnson is,” Hamlin said. “Why isn’t he winning races? I don’t know.”
Gordon isn’t terribly sure, either. He has nine top-five finishes but hasn’t been able to drive the No. 24 Chevrolet into Victory Lane. He was 14th last week in the first race in the Chase and hasn’t won a race since last October. Gordon does have four career wins at Dover on the mile concrete track, but none since 2001.
“We’re still looking for that win and any positives we can pull out of this season and get ourselves back into the Chase is a great way to do it,” Gordon said.
Mark Martin turned a lap of 157.054 and starts second. He also expected Gordon to get rolling over the final two months and said it was foolish for anyone to count out the Hendrick Motorsports star.
“Some people weren’t around when he came into this thing,” Martin said. “He was the most incredibly talented driver that a lot of us had seen. And he still is that same guy and same incredibly talented race car driver who has potential to get on a roll and be a Chase contender for sure.”
Chase drivers took the 20th-22nd slots, with Johnson, Jeff Burton and Edwards all starting in the middle of the pack. Kevin Harvick is 24th and Tony Stewart ó who lost a lap last week and rebounded to finish eighth ó has the worst start of the Chase drivers at 33rd.
“I thought I’d be faster,” Edwards said. “That’s the way it goes. I just thought it would be a little faster.”
Of course, Gordon said he’s tremendously committed to winning a chase and catching the leaders. Gordon thinks he can parlay the pole into a victory and prove that he still has what it takes to win another title.
“I feel like we always have that in us,” Gordon said. “But when you haven’t seen a real glimmer of that up to this point, then it’s about doing it just one week at a time and not trying to think too big.”

Comments

Comments closed.

Coronavirus

Governor changes course on masks amid worsening trends from delta variant

Coronavirus

Vaccination rules for federal workers toughened

Local

Mayor Alexander joins coalition of NC mayors urging passage of bipartisan infrastructure package

Local

New forklift’s arrival ‘a joyous moment’ for Rowan Helping Ministries

Local

Quotes of the week

East Spencer

Spencer, East Spencer hosting joint National Night Out

Business

Backcountry and Beyond prepares for move to downtown Salisbury

Education

Kannapolis City Schools will ‘strongly recommend,’ not require masks

Business

Ahold Delhaize hopes to add 100 new employees at Salisbury distribution center

Local

Cooler weather on the horizon for Rowan after heat wave

Crime

Blotter: July 29

Local

Downtown residents, business owners say noisy construction is A-OK, sign of progress to come

Business

County unemployment rises in June, positive job growth seen in leisure and hospitality sector

Local

NC poet laureate will speak during historical marker celebration, talks about life, race

Local

Spencer moves back public hearing on longer, staggered terms

Education

High school fire academy lets seniors jump start a service career

News

Country Club of Salisbury unveils renovated clubhouse, plots additional upgrades

David Freeze

David Freeze: Biggest adventure day coming next

Local

South Ellis Street in for improvements because of $100,000 grant for BlockWork

Local

Little League softball: Rowan drops regional final, but moves on

Education

Catawba students, grads make it out to the ballpark for summer of baseball

Education

Education briefs: RSS Teacher of the Year gets Phillip J. Kirk Scholarship

News

North Carolina requiring state health workers to get vaccine

Nation/World

Infrastructure deal: Senate suddenly acts to take up bill