Monday, July 28, 2014

Brickyard 400 winner Jeff Gordon better than ever

INDIANAPOLIS — Twenty years ago, a 23-year-old kid won the inaugural Brickyard 400. It was just his second career Cup victory, and most people believed they were seeing a superstar in the making.

Little did anyone know that 20 years later, that kid would still be winning races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

For the 90th time, Jeff Gordon captured the checkered flag in a NASCAR Cup race. For the fifth time, he won at the most historic and iconic track in racing, just 20 miles from where he spent his teenage years.

MORE: Indy Winners & Losers | Kahne loses spirited battle with Gordon | Junior tweets message from Mom | Edwards' future

Drivers often suffer decline in their later years, but the 42-year-old Gordon — he turns 43 on Aug 4 — is having a great season with two wins and 14 top-10s in 20 races to lead the Cup standings. His win Sunday in the Crown Royal 400 just added to a resume that many will admire for its achievement and maybe even more for its longevity.

“I'll be the first to admit that you're only as good as your equipment and your cars,” Gordon said following the victory celebration. “I know we get a lot of credit as racecar drivers. I want to make sure they know they've got the right guy behind the wheel.

“But I can't do much with that wheel if I don't have four tires on the car planted on the racetrack and the engines to get it down the straightaway. Man, we've got that this year. So I think it's built my confidence, it's built his confidence in me.”

A lot has happened over 20 years for Gordon. A marriage. A divorce. Another marriage. Two kids.

But since his first full season in Cup, he’s had just one team owner: Rick Hendrick. He credits Hendrick, who snatched him from Bill Davis Racing, with putting the people in place to put solid cars beneath him.

“Anytime you come here to Indy and you can win, it's special,” Hendrick said. “To see Jeff back it up after 20 years, it was a great day.”

Read More Here......Sporting News

Brickyard 400 Results

No comments: