Jeff Gordon summed up his long record of success at Martinsville Speedway today in just six words.
“Great race cars, great race teams.”
The Hendrick Motorsports driver is an eight-time winner at Martinsville, along with recording 27 Top-5 and 34 Top-10 finishes in 42 career starts. Those numbers rank him among the best ever at the Virginia short track, and the credit, said Gordon, goes to his team.
“Hendrick has always given us great cars, even when I started coming here,” he said. “I found something that worked for me and not a lot has changed (over the years). This weekend is the most drastic change I have seen in a long time, because of the new ride-height rules. But for the most part, not a lot has changed as far as how the cars are set up and how you drive the track since I first started coming here.
“It’s nice to have something… that has worked and can be a constant you can come back with and make work over and over again.”
Gordon said new 2014 rules have changed some of the particulars on his race car’s set-up, and also impacted the way he drives the car.
“Whether it’s rolling out of the brakes sooner, getting on the gas sooner or harder, or not slowing the car down as much getting in the corner… usually the grip of the car tells you that. You are constantly seeking the limit of the car and finding that edge. There is more grip in the car because of the spoiler and ride heights, (but) nothing has changed.
“The teams have made the cars faster and you are always having to push yourself and the car.”
Still seeking his first win of the 2014 season, Gordon said he is anxious to make it to Victory Lane and punch his ticket to the Chase.
“There are a lot of guys are out there that haven’t won yet, and are really hungry to get that win because we see how important it is. It’s not just important to lock yourself in the Chase, we are all here to try and win the championship. (Winning) is a huge step forward to winning the championship, because of how you approach each race after you have gotten a win.”