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Published: Sunday, 4/20/2008

Gordon a good fit for Talladega

ASSOCIATED PRESS
In October, Jeff Gordon led Tony Stewart en route to his second consecutive win at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. In October, Jeff Gordon led Tony Stewart en route to his second consecutive win at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.
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Jeff Gordon won both races last season at Talladega Superspeedway, where two and three-wide racing in huge packs and multicar crashes are considered business as usual.

"Jeff Gordon winning last year, he did a great job and gives credence [to the belief] that great drivers find a way to make it happen," said fellow Cup star Jeff Burton. "He didn't have the fastest car.

"A lot of times we see at Talladega, there's about four, six, eight cars that are better than the field. I know [the spectators] don't see it because we're all in one pack, but we can see it. On the track we know who the fastest cars are and, typically, one of those cars wins."

The late Dale Earnhardt was a master of restrictor plate racing, and it was said he could see the air. It seems Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Gordon, two of the best current plate racers, have the same talent.

"The interesting thing is being at the right place at the right time is so important there," Burton explained. "And knowing what to do and when to do it is so important and you see the same people able to do that. So there is a skill involved in it, there's no question about it."

Although he acknowledges the close, tense racing on the 2.66-mile Talladega oval used to make him nervous, Gordon has six wins and 16 top-10 finishes in 30 races on the Alabama track. And he is no longer uptight about going there.

"I am looking forward to Talladega," he said. "I think it is going to be a similar race to last time. We are going to have to make a decision as to whether we ride in the back and come up through there at the end.

"I don't think a lot has changed since the last time we were there. We had an awesome, awesome day, awesome race. Love to have the same result."

BUSY BUSCH: So far this season, Kyle Busch has driven in all eight Cup races, all eight Nationwide events, and all four Craftsman Truck Series races. He is second in the Cup standings, third in Nationwide, and leading the truck series.

And the 23-year-old driver just can't seem to slow down.

While his Joe Gibbs Racing Cup team is taking a rare weekend off, Busch is in Mexico City, aiming for his third straight Nationwide victory.

The big question is how long will he continue to race in all three of NASCAR's top professional series?

Several drivers have raced the entire Cup and Nationwide - formerly Busch - Series in the same year. No one has even come close to running full schedules in all three.

Busch has said he will eventually sit out some Nationwide and truck races. But, with all this success, could he change his mind?

"The consideration is there, but it's a race-by-race deal for me right now," Busch said after winning the Nationwide race last week at Phoenix. "If I go out and win a bunch of these in a row, we might reevaluate."

"It's great to be able to come out and race in the Nationwide Series since I have such a blast doing it. Our concentration is on our Cup effort, and we're second in points over there and running consistently near the front every week. We still have to concentrate on the Cup stuff to make sure we stay toward the front in points and make the Chase."

But, that could change.

"If I feel comfortable on how things are going over there [in Cup], then maybe we'll see how the chips fall on the Nationwide Series side. There's no doubt it's fun having a chance to win in the Nationwide Series each week."



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