Now that he has reached 88, Jeff Gordon will go back in time Sunday. But while clocks will be set back only one hour that morning, the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion is wanting to replicate a result at Texas Motor Speedway from 2009.
Gordon, now an 88-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victor thanks to his win at Martinsville Speedway last Sunday, has two poles, eight top-fives and 11 top-10's in 25 starts at the 1.5-mile speedway. But while his lone win here occurred four years ago, the No. 24 Drive To End Hunger team arrives in Texas full of confidence.
"We've had sort of a love-hate relationship with this track," said Gordon. "This has always been a very challenging track and there were some years when we struggled. The last few times, though, we've been competitive and the last time we were here we were very competitive but had a failure. It's been a bit of love and hate.
"But with a lot more love recently."
With three races remaining in the 2013 campaign, Gordon is now third in the point standings and 27 out of the lead. But that position may actually be an advantage for the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team.
"We have nothing to lose and everything to gain, so that puts us in a comfortable position as to how we approach each race," said Gordon. "I love the team's attitude and we've been having fun since Chicago. Less frustration and we're executing better.
"We're really in sync right now."
In addition to the Martinsville victory, a test here last week may provide added confidence ahead of Sunday's AAA Texas 500.
"Other teams elected to test Monday but we waited until Tuesday to begin our test hoping there would be more rubber on the track before we started running," said Gordon.
"The track changed a lot that first day and the speeds dropped which I think was more realistic to what we'll experience for the race. Testing allows us to come here and be better prepared for qualifying and the race. I thought the test went well, and I can't wait for this weekend's race."
"Right now, I'm looking forward to every race."