May 7, 2014, 11:36 AM EDT
It took an 11th – or 13th – hour adjustment to get Jeff Gordon into the 2013 NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup, but given he and the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports’ team’s success this season, it’s only a matter of time before he eventually breaks through for his first win of the year.
The series points leader has starred throughout most of the year, but late-race bad luck has cost him shots at at least two races.
Heading into Kansas this weekend, where Gordon won the track’s first two races in 2001 and 2002, Gordon’s optimistic.
“I’m excited to get there and see what the track has to offer, as well as how the new ride heights and downforce will play out this year,” he said in a Wednesday teleconference. “We’ve excelled at a lot of tracks. Kansas has always been one of my favorites, although it moved further down on the repave, but it ages, go through the winter and gets back to the Kansas. The transitions are still there. The variable banking is always a plus.”
Gordon, who continues to search for his elusive fifth championship, added that this has been one of the best starts he’s ever had to a season.
“I know that time is running short, but I’m not concerned about it,” he said. “I have accomplished more than I ever thought. We have such a great race car and race team this year. We’re off to a great start. We’re healthy, and in good shape.”
“What I’m excited about is that we have such a great race team. We’ve had such competitive cars. Some we unload and we’re fast, others we really have to work at it.”