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Darlington would be likely place for Gordon to turn season around

By admin | May 10, 2012

By Richard Allen

Jeff Gordon is in the midst of a stretch of bad luck such as he has rarely seen over the course of his extraordinary career. After Sunday’s 33rd place finish in Talladega, the winner of 85 Sprint Cup races and four championships dropped to the 23rd spot in the 2012 standings. He has no wins and only one top-5 and two top-10s to show for his efforts so far this year.

But it’s not as if Gordon has run as poorly as his place in the standings would indicate. In fact, he has had strong cars in virtually every race this season. However, his luck has been less than favorable as seemingly everything that can go wrong has gone wrong for the Hendrick Motorsports #24 team.

“Man, this is just one of the most bizarre years that this DuPont Chevrolet team and Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet team has ever gone through,” Gordon declared after being involved in a late race crash in Talladega. “I mean, it’s almost comical at this point. That was not fun. I didn’t like hitting the wall. Gosh, I thought I was clear … That’s just the way our season has been going.”

If Gordon is to turn this season around, he is heading to the right place this weekend. The Darlington Raceway has been one of the future Hall of Famer’s most dependable tracks in terms of good finishes.

In 31 career starts on ‘The Lady in Black’, Gordon has scored seven victories. But perhaps more impressive has been the fact that his performance on the venerable old track has been remarkably consistent even when not winning. Eighteen top-5s and twenty-one top-10s have resulted from his previous runs here.

Gordon’s last win at Darlington came in 2007 but until last year’s 12th place result, he had been working on a string of seven consecutive top-5 finishes.

Jeff Gordon’s luck will eventually get better. And when it does, he may well put together several wins and top-5s in a row. This weekend in Darlington is a prime place for that streak to begin.

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