Gordon enters Sunday's Quicken Loans 400 – race 15 of the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season -- 11th in the championship point standings. He was 22nd at this time last year, and has accumulated 57 more points that he had a year ago; an improvement of more than one full race.
"We are further up in the standings, but we're going to need to battle just as hard as we did last year over the summer months to earn a Chase spot," said Gordon, referring to one of 12 "Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup" berths available after race No. 26 at Richmond. "But our focus doesn't need to be on anyone else, it needs to remain on what we as a team are doing, and doing everything possible to win."
In 40 starts at the two-mile MIS oval, the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion has two wins, five poles, 18 Top-5 and 25 Top-10 finishes. Much of that, however, occurred on a track surface that was repaved prior to last year's events.
"The track has gone through a winter, but I don't expect it to have aged much since the last time we were here in August," said Gordon. "I don't expect it to be much different.
"It's still going to be real fast."
One big difference is the car. New this season is the Generation-6 race car, and Gordon admits he does not know what to expect from his No. 24 Chevrolet SS this weekend. The common denominator between car and track, however, is the word "fast."
"The new car is the biggest change," said the 87-time NASCAR Sprint Cup race winner. "I don't know how the new car will react on the big race track, but I'm very optimistic heading into the race weekend. I'm looking forward to going fast, and getting the Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS dialed in."