Fort Worth: Jeff Gordon preview

Texas marks Gordon's 300th start. JUSTIN, Texas. - When Jeff Gordon starts the Samsung/RadioShack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway this Sunday, he will become the only driver to start 300 consecutive NASCAR Winston Cup races beginning with his very...

Texas marks Gordon's 300th start.

JUSTIN, Texas. - When Jeff Gordon starts the Samsung/RadioShack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway this Sunday, he will become the only driver to start 300 consecutive NASCAR Winston Cup races beginning with his very first. While the driver of the DuPont Chevrolet has many accomplishments during the nine full seasons of his NASCAR Winston Cup career, a win at Texas in not among them.

Gordon, a four-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion at age 30, leads all active drivers with 58 career victories (seventh all-time) which have come on a record 19 of 23 tracks currently on the Winston Cup schedule. The tracks he has yet to score a Winston Cup victory are Phoenix (nine starts), Texas (five starts), Homestead-Miami (three starts) and Chicagoland (one start).

Gordon has not fared well in Texas. In five career starts at the 1.5-mile speedway, he has one top-five finish (fifth in 2001) and four finishes of 25th or worse.

"We need to finish with all the fenders intact," Gordon said. "Last year was the first time we were able to do that here and we finished fifth.

"This year, I expect a lot of nose-to-tail racing because of the new track surface. I've heard it's smooth as glass and unbelievably fast but it will take a few more races before we work in a second groove.

"Passing will be difficult on Sunday, so a good qualifying effort on Friday is to your benefit."

Gordon, in his 10th year of Winston Cup racing, has 40 poles to his credit, an average starting position of 9.0 and has never used a provisional to make a race.

He is the youngest two-time Daytona 500 champion and the youngest four-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion, one of only three drivers to win four or more championships. Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt each have seven.

With 13 wins in 1998, Gordon tied Petty for most victories in a single season during the modern era. He is tied with Earnhardt for the most victories (3) in NASCAR's all star event, The Winston.

He has captured a record four $1 million No Bull 5 bonuses from Winston, is the only three-time champion of the Brickyard 400 and tops the list for career Winston Cup earnings.

Gordon holds the record for consecutive Southern 500 victories (4), consecutive road course victories (6), and consecutive superspeedway victories in the modern era (5 in 1998).

What's next to accomplish?

"I don't focus on the records," Gordon said. "When I retire, that's when I'll look back on my career.

"My goal right now is to win Texas."

-pprp-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Gordon , Richard Petty