A second trip to Victory Lane for Jeff Gordon at Las Vegas? If it happens this Sunday in the Kobalt Tools 400, it probably will be a bumpy ride.
Along with his lone win in 2001, Gordon has six top-five finishes and seven top-10s in 15 starts at the 1.5-mile track. He knows his way around Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS), pacing the field 457 times.
“There are some bumps down in Turns 1 and 2 that you really need your car to get through,” said Gordon, who ranks eighth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings. “They’re in the low line – the preferred line.
“In Turns 3 and 4, you’ll usually run low.”
While there are preferred lines at each end of the track, there are also multiple racing grooves that give drivers the option to search for lines that may work better for the setup underneath the car.
“If your car is not working through the bumps in Turns 1 and 2, you can run above them,” Gordon said. “And I really like (Turns) 3 and 4 because you have a lot of different options through there, as well.
“You can definitely change your entry into Turn 3 and your line through the corner to get the most out of the car.”
With the introduction of the new generation of cars (Gen-6) this season, LVMS will host an extra day of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing Thursday. The driver of the No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS knows information gathered during the test could prove invaluable.
“Testing is very important,” Gordon said. “When you have telemetry on the car, it gives us the opportunity to learn more about the loads and the bumps and what the car is going through, like ride heights of the front splitter. It gives us the opportunity to gather so much valuable information that we can use for the race on Sunday.
“And every lap we log helps us understand and learn more about our new No. 24 Chevy SS.”