'Home race' could help driver No. 31

Updated: September 2, 2004, 6:01 PM ET
By Mark Ashenfelter | Special to ESPN.com

Gordon Robby Gordon's homecoming could be happier, but the Southern California native never lacks for optimism.

And he can use some heading into the Pop Secret 500 at California Speedway. Yes, as NASCAR embarks upon a new tradition for Labor Day weekend, Gordon is one driver who probably won't mind being in Southern California instead of competing in the Southern 500 in Darlington.

Of course, what he'd really like is to be battling for a spot in the Chase For The Nextel Cup. And ...

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