|Jeff Gordon was runner-up at Indy last season (Getty)|
The four-time Brickyard 400 winner grew up in the shadows of historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) in nearby Pittsboro, so each trip to the famed speedway is special to Gordon. But if he collects trophy No. 5 on Sunday, it could set off fireworks in the Gordon household.
“I want to bring that trophy (home) and watch [son Leo and daughter Ella] fight over it,” said Gordon in an ESPN interview scheduled to air during Sunday’s pre-race show. “These days, Leo’s been starting some fights, so I’m curious to see who would win.
“And for that trophy to be a fifth Brickyard trophy? That’d be a good day.”
Along with topping the list for most NASCAR Sprint Cup victories at the 2.5-mile track, Gordon also ranks first in: poles (3), top-fives (10; four more than any other driver), top-10′s (14) and laps led (476; 249 more than any other driver) in 18 starts at IMS.
“Growing up here and going to the track numerous times as a kid, there is just something special about each trip here,” said Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet. “But that special feeling changes quickly when I get out on the track because this place is so challenging.
“The four corners look the same, but each is unique with different transitions and bumps. As a driver, factoringthat in with the few little dips, the way the wind is blowing, the radius and everything else can give you an advantage.
“But the car has to be good, as well. We’ve had the best car or one of the best cars in each of the races we’ve won here.”
Gordon arguably had the best car here last year, but he was unable to catch and pass fuel-saving winner Paul Menard.
“We ran well here last year,” said Gordon, who led 36 laps en route to a runner-up finish here in 2011. “A lot has changed since we were here last, but I’m hoping we can take what we’ve learned in that time and be even faster, even better this year.”
Which could net another trophy for Gordon. And set off a family squabble.
- Performance PR Plus