Daytona 500 champ Jeff Gordon ready for western swing


            Jeff Gordon obviously is ecstatic about claiming his third Daytona 500 title last week, but he also knows that the next few weeks will give everyone a better idea of the contenders and pretenders.

            ¿I am definitely excited about getting to some non-restrictor plate tracks,¿ Gordon said. ¿It¿s great to be going in with momentum from Daytona, but we have to keep it going.¿

            Gordon will be looking to join Jeff Burton and Matt Kenseth as the only two-time winners at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the March 13 UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400. He also will attempt to break a stranglehold on the speedway that is held by Roush Racing. Roush drivers have claimed five wins in seven races at LVMS.

            ¿Seeing how we tested, we certainly feel that we learned a lot of good information that will help us when we come back,¿ Gordon said. ¿I think these next couple of races will give a better indication of who we are going to be battling for the championship.¿

            Gordon, the winner of the 2001 event, will be one of 43 cars looking for victory in this year¿s event, which is scheduled to begin at noon (Pacific Time). In addition to the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series event, the NASCAR Busch Series Sam¿s Town 300 will run on Saturday, March 12. Qualifying for both races will be held Friday, March 11. Tickets are available for both events by calling 1-800-644-4444 or logging on to