INAUGURAL EVENTS GORDON'S FORTE WITH 50TH AS ADDED INCENTIVE Homestead, Fla. â€“ Between 1994 and 1997 five events have been added to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series schedule. First came the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
INAUGURAL EVENTS GORDON'S FORTE WITH 50TH AS ADDED INCENTIVE
Homestead, Fla. – Between 1994 and 1997 five events have been added to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series schedule. First came the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Then races at the more recently built Texas, California and Las Vegas tracks were added, along with a second annual event at New Hampshire. Of these five inaugural events, Jeff Gordon drove his DuPont Automotive Finishes Chevrolet to victory in three of them -- the inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994, the inaugural California 500 in 1997 and the first fall race at New Hampshire in 1997. In fact, Gordon is a two-time winner of those three events. Now, in 1999, another recently built track has been added to the Winston Cup schedule, allowing Gordon to compete for a win in the inaugural race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway this Sunday. "I've been looking forward to the race at Miami, " said Gordon. "It's a very fast, flat track that should produce some exciting racing. "Everybody wants to be the winner of inaugural events. We've either had it really good or really bad in those races. We weren't as fortunate at Texas and Vegas as we were at places like Indy and California." However, Gordon has even more incentive to want to win on Sunday. Not only would it be another win in an inaugural event, but it would also be his golden career victory. With 49 career wins, Gordon is tied with Rusty Wallace on the all-time win list, and with two races remaining in 1999 Gordon has the opportunity to enter a tie for eighth with Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson going into the next millennium. Actually, if he were to win the last two races he would take sole possession of eighth on the all-time win list just behind Lee Petty who has 55 career wins. Also, Gordon has seven wins this season, more than any other driver. If he ends the season with the most wins, he will be the only driver to record the most victories in four consecutive seasons -- seven wins in 1995, 10 in each of 1996 and 1997 and a record-tying 13 season wins last year. Richard Petty is the only other driver to record 13 wins in one season. With six wins and two races undecided, only Jeff Burton has the opportunity to surpass Gordon in wins this season. In addition to seven Winston Cup victories this year, Gordon has seven poles, 18 top-five, 20 top-10's and is currently fifth in points. So, is winning inaugural events Gordon's forte? Maybe it's obtaining the most wins in one season? Or maybe it's just plain winning?