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Confidence grows for re-energized Jeff Gordon, No. 24 team

Oct 12, 2013, 3:27 PM EDT

Cheez-It 355 - Practice Getty Images

Jeff Gordon wanted to prove that he and his No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports squad were worthy of the 13th Chase for the Sprint Cup spot bestowed upon them by NASCAR after the race manipulation scandal last month at Richmond International Raceway.

So far, they’re doing just that. The four-time Sprint Cup champion and his group have turned in two Top-5s and three Top-10s in the first four Chase races and their lowest post-season finish so far has been a 15th-place showing at New Hampshire.

Inconsistency had plagued the 24 camp during the regular season, but there’s no doubt they’re riding a wave right now – and it’s showing in Gordon’s attitude, which has changed considerably as the summer has given way to fall.

“The reason that I’m like this now is because we never gave up,” Gordon said Thursday after claiming pole position for tonight’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “That is why I give this team a lot of credit they really stepped up. Our set-ups are just suiting my driving style and the things that I like to feel in the car.

“The cars are just giving me good feedback and it’s because they work so hard through the summer to make improvements. Watching what other teams are doing, learning from our teammates as well as just applying ourselves in the things that we are doing. Each week now, I’m just building that confidence because those cars are giving me that confidence.”

Gordon hasn’t been strong lately at Charlotte. He hasn’t won on the 1.5-mile oval since 2007, and has only garnered one Top-10 finish in his last six starts there.

But given his recent burst of momentum, he seems set to continue serving as a key player in the 2013 championship tonight – especially considering his start up front, which should help him in the all-important fight for track position.

  1. worknman24hours - Oct 12, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    Eh-there are younger, faster, better drivers at the top.

    Jeff doesn’t stand a chance.

  2. aacbrian - Oct 14, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    The problem with the comment that was posted about Jeff is that yes there are younger drivers, and at times they may be faster, but better I don’t think so. Jeff races everyone fair until they mess with him.
    Then it becomes a personal issue, He ( Jeff ) is the sleeping giant in this and he had his wake up call
    Matt and Jimmie are great drivers I wont take that from them. But they will get caught up in a problem
    before the chase ends mark my words. And when it happens ( and it will ) Jeff is gonna be right there to
    jump out in front. Jeff may not be the young aggressive driver he used to be, but with age comes wisdom
    He will be a threat to the top 3 drivers in the chase.

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