Milestone season for Jeff Gordon

LOUDON, N.H. - Last Sunday's championship celebration in Atlanta capped off a season full of milestones for Jeff Gordon. Gordon, driver of the DuPont Chevrolet, clinched his fourth NASCAR Winston Cup championship, becoming just the third...

LOUDON, N.H. - Last Sunday's championship celebration in Atlanta capped off a season full of milestones for Jeff Gordon. Gordon, driver of the DuPont Chevrolet, clinched his fourth NASCAR Winston Cup championship, becoming just the third driver to score four or more championships in his career, joining Richard Petty and the late Dale Earnhardt (each with seven). But that's not all he accomplished in the 2001 season. In March, Gordon won his first race of the season at Las Vegas. The victory marked his fourth Winston No Bull 5 million-dollar bonus, tops in the series. Next came his record-tying third victory in Winston Cup's all-star event, The Winston â^À^Ó a race he won in a backup car. At Michigan in June, Gordon delivered Hendrick Motorsports their 100th Winston Cup victory. Then in August, Gordon won the Brickyard 400 for a record-breaking third time and later that month at Watkins Glen, he became the only driver in Winston Cup Series history to win seven Winston Cup road course races. All this success came at a time when many people had written Gordon off after his performance in 2000 when he finished ninth in points and had just three wins. From 1995 - 1999, he led the series in victories with no less than seven wins each season. "When we entered this season, I never imagined that we'd be running for a championship," Gordon said. "I just didn't think it would come this soon after all the changes we made with the team going into last year. I can't believe how quickly we made it through the learning curve. "I think I knew after we won The Winston in May in a backup car that this team had what it takes. Then we won the Brickyard. When you do things like that and run consistently over the course of a season, you find yourself running for the championship. "I can't express how proud I am of this team." With one race remaining at New Hampshire International Speedway, Gordon leads the Winston Cup Series with six wins, six poles, 18 top-five finishes, 2,063 laps led, a 9.8 average start and 10.9 average finish. In 13 starts at the New England track, he has three wins, three poles, eight top-fives and 10 top-10's. Gordon is one victory away from tying Jeff Burton for the most wins at the 1.058-mile track. "We'll start first and we have the first pit stall," Gordon said. "That's an advantage here where track position is so important. "The championship is locked up so we'll have a â^À^Øgo-for-broke' attitude this Friday."

-PPRP-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Richard Petty
Teams Hendrick Motorsports