2014 SEASON: Jeff Gordon is averaging a finish of 6.0 after the first three races of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season with places of fourth at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, fifth at Phoenix International Raceway and ninth at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The driver of the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet SS is fifth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver standings and trails 2014 Daytona 500 winner and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 18 points.
FOUR-TIME GOING FOR FOURTH: During his illustrious 22-year career, Gordon has started a Cup season with three consecutive top-10s on three occasions (1997, 2007 and 2014). If he secures another top-10 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway this weekend, it would mark the first time he has opened a campaign with four consecutive top-10 finishes.
AT BRISTOL: Gordon has five wins, five poles, 16 top-five finishes and 23 top-10s in 42 Cup starts at the high-banked short track. The 42-year old driver has an average starting position of 7.5 and average finishing position of 12.3.
TOPS AT BRISTOL AMONG ACTIVE DRIVERS: The four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion leads active drivers in several statistical categories at the Tennessee track. Gordon has the most pole positions (five), most laps led (2,713) and best average start (7.5) while he is tied for most wins (five).
VICTORIOUS SPRING STRING: Gordon won four consecutive Spring events at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway from 1995 through 1998. However, he did not break through in the annual night race held every August until 2002.
BRISTOL CHASSIS: No. 24 crew chief Alan Gustafson has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 24-812 for this this weekend at Bristol. This chassis has been raced six times – all during the 2013 season – with Gordon claiming one pole (Richmond (Va.) International Raceway in September) and three top-10s (Kansas Speedway in October, Richmond in September and Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July).
HENDRICK AT BRISTOL: In 60 Cup events (191 starts) at Bristol, Hendrick Motorsports has 10 wins, 48 top-five finishes, 87 top-10s and 11 pole positions. Gordon is tied for first among active drivers with five wins at the track, while Kasey Kahne most recently won this race for the organization in March 2013.
SHORT TRACK POWER: Among active drivers at tracks less than one mile in length, Hendrick Motorsports ranks atop the competition in wins and laps led; Gordon is first in both categories with 16 victories and 8,084 laps led. Jimmie Johnson ranks second in both categories with 12 wins and 3,656 laps led.
HENDRICK IN 2014: Earnhardt and his Hendrick Motorsports teammates collectively are averaging a 7.5 finish in the first three Sprint Cup contests. The Hendrick Motorsports quartet most recently finished inside the top nine at Las Vegas: Earnhardt (second), Johnson (sixth), Kahne (eighth) and Gordon (ninth).
JEFF GORDON, DRIVER, NO. 24 AXALTA CHEVROLET SS (ON THE POPULARITY OF BRISTOL.): “Bristol is certainly a fan favorite as well as a driver favorite. It’s a very high banked, very fast track – one of the ultimate short tracks in the country. When we compete there, it always seems to be wild and crazy with bumper-to-bumper two-and-three-wide racing and a lot of action.”
GORDON (ON THE KEYS TO FAST LAPS AT BRISTOL.): “To get your car around the track fast, you have to push hard and be very aggressive and really communicate well with the team to get the balance of the car working well.
“The car gets very ‘light’ getting into the corner but loads into the banking in the center of the corner. And with over 850 horsepower, it’s hard to keep traction up off the corner. And there are some pretty big dips and bumps in center of 1 & 2 that you have to deal with.”
GORDON (ON THE RACING LINE AT BRISTOL.): “The groove at Bristol has changed the last few years. It used to be right around the bottom, then it moved to the middle and now it’s at the top of the track. I think it makes for some of the most spectacular racing that we have on the circuit. That’s what makes Bristol so special.”