Winston: Jeff Gordon preview

Gordon hopes to soar to victory in The Winston. CONCORD, N.C. - Jeff Gordon's No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet will bear wings this Saturday in The Winston all-star event at Lowe's Motor Speedway in celebration of Wilbur and Orville Wright's first flight...

Gordon hopes to soar to victory in The Winston.

CONCORD, N.C. - Jeff Gordon's No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet will bear wings this Saturday in The Winston all-star event at Lowe's Motor Speedway in celebration of Wilbur and Orville Wright's first flight 100 years ago.

The special "100 Years of Aviation Celebration" paint scheme is one that Gordon hopes will fly him to the front of the field and propel him toward a record fourth win in The Winston. He is currently tied with the late Dale Earnhardt for the most wins in NASCAR's all-star event with three.

A win in The Winston, worth one million dollars, could almost match Gordon's previous winnings of $1,427,110 in all nine of his previous starts combined. If he were to win all three segments, the win would be worth $1,100,000.

Gordon's first victory in The Winston came in 1995 when he swept all three segments and won $300,000. In addition to that victory, he captured seven "points" wins en route to his first NASCAR Winston Cup championship.

"The highlight for me in The Winston is probably the year we won all three segments," said Gordon. "But the highlight of that year was definitely winning the championship over Earnhardt."

Each time Gordon has won the Winston -- 1995, 1997 and 2001 -- he has also captured the NASCAR Winston Cup championship. In fact, The Winston winner has proceeded to win the championship in eight different years.

In the 2001 running of The Winston, Gordon's night included a wrecked race car, a mandatory trip to the infield care center and a visit to victory lane -- in a backup car.

"That night sure was memorable," Gordon said. "I thought our night was over on lap one after wrecking in the rain. Initially, our night lasted about as long as the Wright Brothers flight.

"In the care center, I was told that NASCAR was allowing all the teams involved in the wreck to use their backup. When I finally made it over to our garage stall, guys from our crew, the No. 5 (Hendrick Motorsports) crew and the No. 25 (Hendrick Motorsports) crew were thrashing on the backup in an effort to get it race ready.

"It was awesome how everyone at Hendrick Motorsports came together to help the No. 24 DuPont team. It says a lot about our team and organization when you can win with a backup car under these conditions. Really, The Winston is not only about having a great race car but a great race team too."

With clearance, Gordon hopes to land in Victory Lane once again.

-hm/pprplus-

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