Gordon returns to site of first win, first pole

CONCORD, N.C. - With four of his 52 NASCAR Winston Cup victories and six of his 31 poles coming at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Jeff Gordon has fond memories of this race track. But the "firsts" are what he remembers best. Gordon, driver of the...

CONCORD, N.C. - With four of his 52 NASCAR Winston Cup victories and six of his 31 poles coming at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Jeff Gordon has fond memories of this race track. But the "firsts" are what he remembers best. Gordon, driver of the DuPont Chevrolet, won his first Winston Cup pole here in October of 1993. That was his lone pole during the season, but it gained him a starting spot in the 1994 Busch Clash at Daytona International Speedway – a race he won in his first attempt. "We set some goals during our first season and that was one of them," Gordon said. "We thought we could win a pole and we came close a few times before then. "I won two poles in the Busch Series here so I was comfortable with the track. We just needed to get the car comfortable for one good lap and we did. "After getting our first pole, we could then concentrate on getting our first win." Gordon almost captured his first Winston Cup victory earlier that year. In his first Winston Cup start at Charlotte, he qualified 21st and led three laps en route to a second-place finish in the 600-mile affair. That first victory would come one year later in the same event. A gamble for two tires late in the race paid off as Gordon captured the win – leading only 16 of the 400 laps. "Ray (Evernham) made a great call in the pits," Gordon said. "We gambled at the end and it worked out for us. "I can remember almost all the details of the last few laps -- the lines I took around the corners, the traffic I had to pass. Those last few laps seemed to take forever. "That trip to victory lane is something I'll never forget." Gordon last visited victory lane at Charlotte in the 1999 UAW-GM 500. Along with four victories and six poles at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Gordon has nine top-fives, 10 top-10's and has led 363 laps in 15 starts. He also has led at least one lap in 14 of those 15 events. "There's no doubt I've had a lot of success here," Gordon said. "We've finished in the top 10 the last five weeks and a strong run here would provide momentum for the last few races. "We're not in the race for the championship, but we may be able to gain a few positions in points before the end of the year."

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon