BRISTOL, Tenn. If you thought you'd never see the day, Jeff Gordon has left you in disbelief. If you think that nobody could have that much talent, success, luck, or whatever you attribute it to, you stand corrected again...and again.
BRISTOL, Tenn. If you thought you'd never see the day, Jeff Gordon has left you in disbelief.
If you think that nobody could have that much talent, success, luck, or whatever you attribute it to, you stand corrected again...and again.
This Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway Gordon will attempt to leave the world dumbfounded once again as he tries to win his fifth consecutive Winston Cup Series race, a feat never accomplished by any driver in NASCAR's modern era.
Is it conceivable that Gordon will break yet another record in NASCAR's premier series, and arguably the most competitive series in the world, in less than six years and at age 27?
Well, after Gordon won rookie of the year in 1993, the Coca-Cola 600 and the inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994, you may have thought it a fluke. Then, when he drove his DuPont Automotive Finishes Chevrolet to seven victories and the 1995 NASCAR Winston Cup championship, you may have thought that he better get ready for a dose of reality.
Now it appears that those who had doubts are themselves the one's getting that dose of reality... and the reality is that Gordon is virtually unstoppable.
In 1996, Gordon won 10 races and was runner-up for the title. In 1997, Gordon won 10 races, the Winston Million, the Busch Clash, The Winston all- star NASCAR Winston Cup series championship. Incredible.
After 21 of 33 scheduled races in 1998, Gordon has won eight, has sat on the pole six times, won the Winston No Bull 5 while becoming the first two- time winner of the Brickyard 400 which led to a streak of races that ties him for the record of four consecutive wins. Astonishing.
At Bristol Motor Speedway, Gordon is the only driver to have won four consecutive spring races. Now, Gordon will become the only driver in the modern era to win five consecutive races if he wins on Saturday night.
"When we got to Michigan, everybody kept saying 'four in a row, four in a row,'" said Gordon. "We thought more about winning our first race at Michigan."
"Now, if we win at Bristol, it will be five in a row. Bristol has been a good track for us and we're going there just hoping for a good finish."
In 11 races at Bristol, Gordon has four wins, five top-five and six top-10 finishes. His average finish at the .533-mile oval is 6.3. However, Gordon has never won the night race there.
"The primary concern at Bristol is finishing the race and keeping all four fenders on," said Gordon. "If we're in position at the end, then we'll think about going for the win."
"This crew doesn't give up. We don't ever give up until the checkered flag drops."
Currently, Gordon leads Mark Martin by 97 in the point standings and has 15 top-fives and 16 top-10's for an average finish 7.85.
In his Winston Cup career, or 177 starts, Gordon has 37 wins, 22 poles, has finished in the top five 50 per cent of the time, in the top 10, 62 per cent of the time and has earned more than $20.5 million.