CONCORD, N.C. - After a win in The Winston last Saturday, Jeff Gordon has a chance to become the first driver to sweep the May races at Lowe's Motor Speedway twice. Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, won both The Winston and NASCAR's...
CONCORD, N.C. - After a win in The Winston last Saturday, Jeff Gordon has a chance to become the first driver to sweep the May races at Lowe's Motor Speedway twice.
Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, won both The Winston and NASCAR's longest event, the World 600, in 1997. He is the only active driver to have accomplished the feat and is joined by retired driver Darrell Waltrip (1985), and the late Dale Earnhardt (1993) and Davey Allison (1991).
Gordon's record in the 600 is impressive. He has three wins, including his first career Winston Cup victory in 1994, five top-five finishes, five straight poles from 1994 to 1998 and has led at least one lap in eight career starts.
"Charlotte has been an amazing place for us," Gordon said. "Winning The Winston was a great momentum boost for the whole team. We were pretty frustrated after wrecking on the first lap because of the rain. But we were able to pull out our backup car. The crew never gave up and we ended up winning the race. It just goes back to our refuse-to-lose attitude."
Gordon has seven top-five finishes this season and is coming off two straight second-place finishes prior to the off weekend leading up to Charlotte's race weeks.
"We had a lot of momentum going into the off week and I thought we might lose some of that," Gordon said. "After winning The Winston I feel like we've gained it all back and then some."
Gordon, a three-time Winston Cup champion, is second in Winston Cup points and trails leader Dale Jarrett by only 14 points.
"This team has come a long way in the past year," said Gordon. "We've been able to consistently finish in the top five which has put us in contention for the championship.
"But there are a lot of races between now and the end of the season and so much can happen. We just need to take it one race at a time."
The points lead isn't the only thing on the line Sunday. If Gordon wins the race, he and another fan each will receive a $1 million bonus as a part of Winston's No Bull 5 program.
Since 1998, Winston has designated five races each season to be a No Bull 5 event for which drivers become eligible by finishing in the top five in the previous No Bull 5 event. Drivers are paired with fans who can win $1 million if their selected driver wins the race.
Gordon captured his first $1 million bonus of 2001 by winning the UAW Daimler-Chrysler 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. By virtue of the win he became eligible for this Sunday's No Bull 5 event and is paired with Marlene Schillinger from Bradford, Pa. Gordon is the only driver to win a No Bull 5 bonus four times.
"Just winning the race is enough," said Gordon. "But to be able to win a million dollars for a fan makes it even more special."