|Gordon has kissed bricks four times over his career, the last in 2004|
It may not seem like that big of a deal when looking back at everything that has transpired over the last 20 years, but almost everything good that has happened for the sport came as a direct result of NASCAR finally getting to race on the bricks.
Not only was Gordon born at that moment, which kicked off one of the great rivalries in the sport with Dale Earnhardt, but growth began to happen in imaginable proportions. America was ready for Jeff Gordon and stock car racing. Meanwhile, open wheel racing was dying as internal greed and stupidity crippled the sport to being barely a blip in the sports page when they race.
Tony George, owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, should get just as much credit as anyone for NASCAR's rise because of his role in destroying the popularity of the open wheel cars.
Following NASCAR's first race on the bricks, tracks started popping up all over America. California, Texas, Las Vegas, Chicago and Kansas all soon began to have NASCAR events and the sport was off and running. Sponsorship loyalty among the fans proved to greater than other sports, which meant there was plenty of money to be thrown around for anyone selling NASCAR.