NOTEBOOK: Gordon: It's all about 'aero' and tires
Four-time champ on change
This is Jeff Gordon’s 20th season at NASCAR’s top level. He’s won 85 Cup races and four championships. At Las Vegas Motor Speedway, someone asked him about the most significant change in the sport over his career.
“Some of the highlights that stick out in the mind throughout the years (are) just aero(dynamics) in general … and tires,” Gordon said. “I look back to some shots of the car from ’94 and ’95 on the race track, and our air dam is … high off the ground in the corners and the skirts on the right side aren’t sealed off. I just think, ‘Gosh, just think how fast we would have gone if we would have known what we know now.’
“The way we set the cars up were more about tire management, and now it’s just all about aerodynamics. I remember that time when it came, and that definitely took me a while to adapt to that. We finally did adapt to it, and then we won the championship in 2001.”
Let’s go to the replay – Before he went out and set a track record in qualifying on Friday, Kasey Kahne became a history buff.
“I had them (team members) check back on last year, and I wanted to see where Matt Kenseth ran (in his 2011 pole run, and he ran right around the top; just basically like I did, and then around on the bottom in (turns) three and four. Once I saw that, I thought that’s the spot. I’m going to try to make it work.”
A video library … no farther away than the nearest laptop.
Gambling? I’ll show you gambling – Phoenix winner Denny Hamlin said he wasn’t worried about dropping a bundle in the Vegas casinos.
“I don't own a race team so I have plenty of money,” he said. “A race team is like a boat: you just throw money into it, and it just disappears.”
Short chutes – Richard Childress Racing has never produced a winner at LVMS. … Dave Blaney reaches 400 career Sprint Cup races in the Kobalt Tools 400. … Next week at Bristol marks Brian Vickers’ return as he competes in the first of six races for Michael Waltrip Racing. … The appeal of owner Rick Hendrick and crew chief Chad Knaus regarding NASCAR penalties is to be heard on Tuesday morning at the NASCAR R&D Center in Concord. Knaus faces a six-race suspension under the initial edict.
Monte Dutton; 704-869-1841; twitter.com/montedutton