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Gordon leads Sprint Cup to New Hampshire

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Gordon during driver introductions for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. (USA TODAY Sports: Jasen Vinlove)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Gordon during driver introductions for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. (USA TODAY Sports: Jasen Vinlove)

Jeff Gordon remained in first place for the fifth consecutive week after Daytona and for 11 of the last 12 weeks as the Sprint Cup heads to New Hampshire.

Gordon leads second-ranked and teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 27 points and fellow third-ranked Hendrick Motorsports member Jimmie Johnson by 28 points.

Out of 38 career starts at New Hampshire. Gordon has 3 three wins getting the checkered flag in the summer of 1995, the fall of 1997 and 1998. He also has 16 top-5s, 22 top-10s and four poles. Gordon finished 10th in this race last year and was 15th in last fall’s Chase race there.

Gordon has completed 98.3 percent (11,058) of the 11,250 total laps contested in 38 career starts at New Hampshire. His average start is an outstanding 9.6 and average finish is just as outstanding at 10.6 with two DNFs (Did Not Finish).

Gordon is still looking for his second win of the season. He also hasn’t won at New Hampshire in more than 15 years. Could he accomplish both goals Sunday? Said Gordon, “Loudon has always been a good and consistent track for us, and I’m really looking forward to this weekend. Hendrick Motorsports tested at New Hampshire a few weeks ago and I thought the No. 24 team had a really good test. We’ve had some good cars and some strong runs at Loudon recently, but that doesn’t make a weekend any easier. We still have to work hard from Friday morning through the end of the race on Sunday.”

In last week’s rain-shortened Daytona, Gordon led just two laps and finished 12th.