The last time the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series raced at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS), Jeff Gordon picked off 15 positions in the final 40 laps to finish 10th in July. But Gordon has been back to the 1.058-mile track since.
And raced here twice since.
In August, Hendrick Motorsports elected to use one of their four tests at NHMS. During that test, the organization’s four teams held two shortened mock races to better understand possible race setups – a practice that carried over the following week during their second test scheduled at another track.
“I believe we learned a lot during those testing races,” said Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet. “And it’s a whole lot more fun than just turning lap after lap by yourself.
“We would work on our setups for a couple hours, then ‘race’ to see how those setups compared to those of our teammates. It provided our team valuable information that we can use heading into this weekend’s race.”
In 37 starts at “The Magic Mile,” Gordon has three wins and four poles while his 16 top-five finishes and 22 top-10s tops all drivers. He has 16 consecutive top-15 finishes here as well.
“This is always a track that I look forward to coming to, and it’s one we’ve had success at over the years,” said Gordon. “I love this track – it’s just one where I have a really good feel of what I need to get the car through the corners fast and be able to make good passes and have good speed.
“There’s a few tracks on the circuit – probably a handful of them – that I have that kind of confidence at and this is one of them.”
Gordon enters the Sprint Cup event on the heels of four consecutive top-10 finishes including Sunday’s sixth-place finish in the rain-interrupted race at Chicago. In that event, the No. 24 battled back from a lap down late due to a flat tire to contend for a top five.
“This team has a lot of fight in them and we never give up,” said Gordon, who is seventh in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings and 24 markers out of the lead. “We’ve started to run better – I think Chicago was one of our best races so far this year – and we have started to finish better. We just need to keep building on that. When you have cars that drive like the one I had at Chicago, it’s so much fun.
“I can’t wait for this weekend’s race.”