Jan 17, 2014, 11:30 AM EST
In 2014, he hopes the narrative shifts to where his performance level doesn’t require an unprecedented act from NASCAR to get him into the championship-deciding 10-race stretch.
Gordon appears refreshed and rejuvenated after an offseason that included a trip to France with his family, and still motivated by the desire to return to championship-winning form. He expanded on all this in an interview with NASCAR.com.
Put simply, though, he still feels he’s got as much vigor and strength to go to the track, run hard and run competitively.
“When I get to the track, I’m still as passionate and as excited, if not more so, than I’ve ever been,” he said.
Gordon said he and the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team, led by crew chief Alan Gustafson, need to eliminate the slow starts. Last year he had only two top-10 finishes in the first 10 races, as well as two-sub-30th place results. In 2012, there were only two top-10s in 11 races, with four finishes of 33rd or worse.
Simply speaking, more consistency early in the year will place him in a better position of not needing to play catch-up when the summer stretch starts and the push to the Chase begins.
Gordon has three Daytona 500 victories (1997, 1999, 2005) and seeks to add a fourth next month.
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