Indianapolis: Jeff Gordon preview

GORDON LOOKS TO MAKE HISTORY AT HISTORIC 'BRICKYARD' August 2, 2005 SPEEDWAY, Ind. - How does Jeff Gordon hope to celebrate his birthday? With a fifth at The Brickyard. Gordon, who turns 34 on August 4, has a chance to become the ...

GORDON LOOKS TO MAKE HISTORY AT HISTORIC 'BRICKYARD' August 2, 2005

SPEEDWAY, Ind. - How does Jeff Gordon hope to celebrate his birthday? With a fifth at The Brickyard.

Gordon, who turns 34 on August 4, has a chance to become the first five-time winner in the 95-year history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway if he wins this Sunday's Allstate 400 at The Brickyard. Last year, the four-time NASCAR Cup champion led 124 laps en route to his fourth victory, tying him with four-time Indianapolis 500 winners A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears. In June, Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher added his name to the list when he notched his fourth United States Grand Prix victory.

"To get number four last year was a great feat for this DuPont team," said Gordon. "It was one of the most exciting victories I've ever had.

"I grew up in nearby Pittsboro watching the Indy 500, and I recognize the difference between that race, The Brickyard 400 and the USGP.

"It's great to be compared to and mentioned in the same sentence as A.J., Unser, Mears and Schumacher, but it's three different types of races under different circumstances."

Gordon, who recently tested at the historic speedway, is currently 15th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings, 541 out of the lead. With six races remaining before the "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup" begins, he will need to gain five positions in the standings or be within 400 points of the lead to have a shot at a fifth championship.

"Everywhere we've tested this year we've run well," said Gordon. "Right now, we're looking at a stretch of races where we have to perform well to get into the top 10, and Indianapolis is one of those races.

"Winning a big race like this can definitely help the morale of the team and build some momentum."

Along with his four wins, Gordon also tops the Brickyard 400 statistics in poles (three), top- fives (seven) and laps led (433). He has finished sixth or better in nine of the 11 Brickyard 400's held.

"It's an important race for us, and it's one we'd love to win," Gordon said. "For me and my team, this is one of the races we look forward to all year long.

"Winning a fifth one would be overwhelming."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Al Unser Sr. , Rick Mears