With 15 consecutive top-15 finishes at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, no wonder Jeff Gordon is looking to make gains in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings this Sunday in the Camping World RV Sales 301.
Since 2005, Gordon has posted seven top-five finishes at "The Magic Mile" with no finish worse than 15th. He enters the 301-lap event 14th in the point standings - a position that leaves few options.
"We don't have any choice but to go out there and race hard and be aggressive," said Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet. "I feel like we have so much more potential.
"If we live up to our potential, we can earn a Chase spot."
Last year at this juncture, Gordon was 17th in the standings with 485 championship points. With a win and five top-five finishes in the eight races leading up to the 2012 "Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup," he earned one of the 12 spots to battle for the title. In 2013, the 87-time race winner is in nearly an identical position. Gordon is currently 14th in the standings with 487 markers.
"We've had such an inconsistent year," said the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion. "We need to make sure we do well at some of the tracks coming up like New Hampshire.
"We've had some great runs recently. We need to make sure we have the good finishes to go along with them."
In 36 starts at the 1.058-mile track, Gordon has three wins and four poles, while his 16 top-fives, 21 top-10's and 1,316 laps led are tops at the New Hampshire track.
"This track is very flat but it has long straightaways, so you carry a lot of speed into the corners," said Gordon. "It's hard to maintain a lot of speed for such a long, flat corner.
"Even though flat tracks weren't my favorite types of tracks growing up, I've always enjoyed racing here. We've run well the last couple years, and we just did the tire test here a few weeks back. We're definitely excited about the race this weekend.
"And optimistic about how we can do."