DARLINGTON – Jeff Gordon is growing more comfortable behind the wheel each week, and that could be bad news for his competitors Sunday at Darlington.
Gordon returns to the Track Too Tough to Tame Sunday night in the Bojangles Southern 500. It’s his fifth race filling in for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. who’s dealing with concussion-like symptoms. And as difficult as the track can be, it’s a welcome sight for the four-time Cup champion.
Gordon retired from racing last year and has spent most of this season in the television booth. So he’s had to readjust to life as a driver especially with cars that feature a new aerodynamics package this year. The learning curve won’t be so steep at Darlington. The track tested the current package during last year’s race, so Gordon already knows what to expect.
“It’s the first time all year where I actually have some valuable notes from last year of what the feel of the car should be like,” he said during a teleconference Wednesday. “So I’m hoping this can help me get up to speed and do the things I need to do for the team to get a great result this weekend.”
It’s not like Gordon was ever uncomfortable at the track. With seven Cup victories, he ranks third on the all-time wins list at Darlington. The rest of Sunday’s field has just 11 wins there combined.