Last year’s race at Infineon Raceway was a bit of a mess for Jeff Gordon and those that got in his way. The five-time Sonoma winner called last year’s race a “disaster” and admitted to making many mistakes throughout the race. Ruining the day of many other drivers, Gordon said he has been trying to move past the incident ever since the end of the race.
“I’ve tried to apologize to the (drivers) that I really made mistakes with,” Gordon said. “There were some racing incidents that went on that day too that was just racing and that you just move on and race one another however you race one another. I have to approach the race the same way I do any other race and just go out there and do everything I can to get the best finish I can. Not put too much effort into thinking about what those guys have planned or whatever. I’m sure if they’re in a position to kind of get back what happened then I’m sure they will.”
Carrying a good bit of momentum into this weekend’s race, Gordon’s goal is simple; do not get in a situation to allow someone to pay him back. Yet with trying to balance the finesse required to run well at Sonoma with the aggressiveness required to maintain track position; that may be easier said than done.
“It’s just different kind of aggressiveness,” he said. “You’re talking about aggressive braking and driving into the corner hard and really getting the car slowed down and out-braking other cars with the down shifts. In that sense, you have to be aggressive when you’re passing somebody or trying to prevent somebody from being passed. The rest of this track is about not being aggressive. This is a very finesse race track. There is just a couple areas that you can drive deep in the corner. The rest of them it’s about not making mistakes. I think coming into turn 11, yeah, you can be aggressive there, but other than that you have to be careful being aggressive here.”
A five-time winner at Infineon, Gordon admits his team has “lost a little bit” on the road courses, but is confident that if put in the right position at the end of the race his team can capitalize and earn their third victory of 2011.