After surviving the unpredictability of Talladega to advance to the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Jeff Gordon travels to a welcoming site this weekend in his quest for his fifth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship – Martinsville Speedway.
Gordon will go for his ninth win at the .526-mile oval in Sunday’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 (1:30 p.m. ET on ESPN). Currently, the No. 24 Chevrolet driver ranks tied with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson for its wins lead among active drivers.
An added bonus?
By visiting Victory Lane on Sunday, Gordon would automatically advance to the Championship Round race at Homestead-Miami.
Standing in his way at Martinsville is a contingent of Chase contenders who have also previously won there – Denny Hamlin (four victories), Ryan Newman (one) and Kevin Harvick (one).
Gordon captured the checkered flag in last fall’s race at Martinsville and boasts a gaudy 27 top fives (62.8%) and 34 tops 10s (79.1%) in 43 starts at “The Paper Clip.”
If he is able to clinch the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, Gordon’s 13-year period between titles will defeat Terry Labonte’s record 12-year dry spell. His 92 career NSCS wins rank third on the all-time list.