NASCAR

Jeff Gordon remains consistent performer

Jeff Gordon (Getty Images)
Crew chief Steve Letarte (left) and Jeff Gordon combine for title threat.
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Jeff Hammond

Jeff Hammond is a former NASCAR crew chief who led Darrell Waltrip to two of his three Sprint Cup championships. The duo also teamed up to win the 1989 Daytona 500. Prior to that, Hammond was the jackman for Cale Yarborough for all three of his Cup championships. He has 43 Sprint Cup wins as a crew chief. Follow him on Twitter.

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Jeff Gordon is a four-time champion in NASCAR’s highest series. Unfortunately for Jeff, he is going through the longest winless streak of his stellar career.

I have a good idea what he is going through. I was with DW when he was the King of the Mountain and then witnessed the struggles at the end of his career.

Jeff is smart enough to realize that someday he is not going to be able to do this as effectively as he would like to. I also think he is smart enough to realize that he is running really well right now. He has just been snake-bit by an untimely caution or an untimely pit call.

Sure, it has to be wearing on him that he isn’t quite getting the NASCAR Sprint Cup wins that he is looking for. I think we will find out what he is really made of out of all this. To me, this is like a super-human type test that will tell us and show us come time for the Chase for the Sprint Cup that Jeff can dethrone his teammate, Jimmie Johnson.

I think any concern fans might have had about the combination of Jeff and crew chief Steve Latarte have been finally put to rest with Steve getting his Hendrick Motorsports' contract extended. Steve does a very solid job. He continues to look for ways to improve the team.

Jeff Gordon's Top-10 Career Accomplishments

Golden boy

Jeff Gordon has matured as a racer and leader in public realm. Take a look at his top-10 career achievements.

To me this is clearly a test of Jeff’s mental toughness.

He is, week in and week out, as good as he has ever been. In fact, he is even more consistent than Jimmie Johnson. If you expand that over the entire field of NASCAR, the only one that is performing better than Jeff is our points leader, Kevin Harvick.

Jeff has to factor all those things in to keep himself from going completely crazy.

Jeff Gordon can win any week at any track. This weekend at Watkins Glen International is no exception. Jeff is a really good road-course racer.

In my book, it’s not a matter of if he will win again, but when he will win again. When will the stars all align again for Jeff? He just needs that blessing from the Racing Gods to put it all together.

Jeff just needs some good old-fashioned luck to turn this thing around. One break is all he needs, in my book. You name it – four-leaf clovers, lucky pennies — Jeff needs to start collecting them all.

It’s not about Jeff not trying hard or the team not giving him better-than-average cars this year. He has all that. He just needs the proverbial lucky rabbit’s foot right now to make it come out right.
 

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