Jeff Gordon is back “home” again in Indiana, and he hopes to celebrate this trip with a fifth.
Gordon, who grew up in nearby Pittsboro, has four victories at the famed speedway including the inaugural event in 1994 plus wins in 1998, 2001 and 2004. He also has three pole positions, 11 top-five finishes – five more than any other driver – and 15 top-10s in 19 starts at the Indiana track.
“I never dreamed I would win one, let alone four,” said Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Pepsi MAX Chevrolet SS. “Winning five would be unimaginable.
“You don’t focus on a number, though. You focus on the handling of the car, getting the car to the front and leading the lap that counts the most.
“The last one.”
Growing up in the shadows of the speedway, Gordon did dream of racing at the historic track. Now, he cherishes every visit to the hallowed grounds.
“This is just a special place,” said the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion. “Flying in, I’m always excited and eager to look out the window and see the track. I think I was 11 the first time I flew over the track, and I thought that was the coolest thing.
“I’ve been fortunate to race here as many times as I have plus win here four times. I just love this event and competing here.”
While he enters Sunday’s race with confidence he can compete for a fifth Brickyard trophy, Gordon knows the 2.5-mile layout is full of challenges.
“The four corners look the same, but each is unique with different transitions and bumps,” said Gordon. “It’s challenging but, as a driver, putting all that together with the dips in the track, the wind and how it’s affecting the car, the radius of the corner and everything else can give you an advantage.
“I think this track suits my driving style, and the team has given me great cars here over the years. I always come here with confidence.”
Gordon enters the weekend with confidence. Will he depart as a five-time Brickyard 400 winner?