24 JEFF GORDON, Chevrolet

Team: Hendrick Motorsports

WHERE HE STANDS: Jeff Gordon remained in first place for the eighth consecutive week after Pocono and for 14 of the last 15 weeks. Gordon leads second-ranked Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 17 points and third-ranked Brad Keselowski by 70 points (was 51 points ahead of Keselowski prior to Pocono).

WATKINS GLEN RECORD: 21 career starts, 4 wins, 6 top-5s, 9 top-10s, 2 poles. Best career finish: First in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2001. Finished 36th in this race last year and was 21st in the 2012 race there.

LOOKING AHEAD: Gordon has struggled since his last win at Watkins Glen in 2001, with just two top 10 finishes in his last 12 starts there. He'll definitely be looking to improve upon that record Sunday: "While Sonoma is a finesse track, Watkins Glen is a track where you have to be aggressive and attack. It's a very challenging track, but it's fun and it's fast. Double-file restarts ... (have) really changed things on the road courses because it gives you that extra opportunity to be aggressive, to get the position and to take some extra chances to try to get that position or maintain a position - and that causes a lot of incidents. But that has also made the road course events some of the most exciting races we have on the circuit."

LOOKING BACK: Gordon had hoped to make it two wins in a row after his triumph at Indianapolis, but fell short at Pocono. Even though he led a race-high 63 laps there Sunday, he fell back in the closing laps due to bad pit strategy, ultimately finishing sixth.

ETC.: Gordon has completed 95.7 percent (1,813) of the 1,894 total laps contested in 21 career starts at Watkins Glen. His average start is 10.2 and average finish is 15.8. He has three DNFs there.