Gordon Tries to Avoid Winless Season

Driver grabs pole positions for Dickies 500 at TMS

Jeff Gordon has only three more chances to avoid his first winless season since he was a rookie driver in 1993.

Instead of trying to win a season championship, after finishing as the runner-up to Hendrick teammate Jimmie Johnson last year, Gordon is just trying to win a race.

The first opportunity comes at Sunday's Dickies 500 at Fort Worth's Texas Motor Speedway. It's one of the two active tracks where the four-time Sprint Cup champion with 81 race victories has never won. And where Gordon has the only last-place finishes in his 542 career races -- last April, and in 1999.

Gordon did OK on Friday, where he was the quickest in practice and then earned his first pole at the 1½-mile high-banked Texas track. Gordon started his No. 24 Chevrolet first in the 2007 spring race after qualifying was rained out.

Since 1994, Gordon has had multiple victories each season and won his four Cup titles between 1995 and 2001.

Gordon still has a good chance to be part of a third straight Cup title because he is the co-owner of Johnson's No. 48 car. Johnson has a 183-point lead over Carl Edwards.

After Texas, there are races remaining at Phoenix and Homestead, Florida -- the other track where Gordon hasn't won.

Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte and Mark Martin are the only drivers who started all 15 Cup races at Texas. Each will make it 16 on Sunday. ... Since Texas got a fall race three years ago, the winner has always been the same driver that won the previous week at Atlanta, another 1½-mile track owned by Bruton Smith. Carl Edwards won last week at Atlanta, like he did three years ago before winning the Dickies 500. Tony Stewart (2006) and Jimmie Johnson (2007) were the other Atlanta-Texas winners.

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