Three Questions with Jeff Gordon
Jeff Gordon continues to seek his first win of 2008, but no one will be holding a tag sale any time soon for the four-time Cup champion.
Even though he remains winless in the first 16 races, Gordon's third-place finish Sunday at Sonoma, Calif., helped him jump three spots in the Sprint Cup standings.
He comes into Sunday's Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway ranked sixth.
With 10 races remaining, Gordon still is not a lock to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup 10-race playoff, but his odds have certainly improved, even if he still hasn't won a race.
But until, if or when that happens, Gordon is still having a good year, no matter what the cynics keep saying.
Q. You're so competitive that anything less than a win can be considered disappointing. Still, wasn't finishing third a good day in the big picture of moving closer to qualifying for the Chase?
A. "Well, I'm disappointed the way we started the race. I really thought (Saturday that) we were going to be good on the long runs and instead, we were not. So I feel very fortunate that we finished third. Things really went our way to get that third. You know, when we've won out here in the past, we didn't need things to go our way; we were good enough to make up for some of that. (Sunday) we weren't."
Q. What do you think about your former teammate, Kyle Busch, winning his first career road course race?
A. "I'm really impressed with Kyle, because I've been around him and I don't think he's a very good road racer. You know, obviously he's maturing and he's learning, and that's what it's going to take for him to maintain that points lead and be a factor and continue to win these races. If he can win (at Sonoma), it's going to boost his confidence; he's going to think he can win anywhere. He might be able to."
Q. You say this season has been disappointing, the same thing many of your cynical critics are saying, yet you're up to sixth in the standings. How can you be disappointed, being that high in the rankings?
A. "As a team, we're performing unbelievable. But it is very frustrating that the cars were so good last year, and this year, we're just not where we need to be. I know that Hendrick Motorsports has the resources and I still feel like I have what it takes, and I know my team does. It's been frustrating at times because when you don't have the cars running the way you want them to, everybody starts to lose their confidence. The team does, you do, and it only takes a few little things to click, and all of a sudden, you're right back there and that's what we constantly have to remind ourselves. We are very happy to be where we are in the points, feel pretty blessed to be honest with you, to be where we are in the points because I can't necessarily say that it's been from being awesome fast."
Jerry Bonkowski is National NASCAR Columnist for Yahoo! Sports (Yahoo.com) and a featured contributor to Gatehouse News Service. He can be reached at NASCARColumnist@Yahoo.com.