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Gordon refreshed, ready for Indy after vacation

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 22, 2008)—After enjoying a weekend off, Jeff Gordon is geared up for the final stretch of 17 consecutive races to close out the 2008 season. That stretch of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events begins at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this Sunday, and the four-time Brickyard winner cannot wait for the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet to roll onto the racetrack.

“I was here a couple weeks ago to promote the event and, man, it was cool just touring the track again,” Gordon said. “It was neat to see the changes being made for the MotoGP race, but it just got me pumped up for our race. There is something about this place that gets me fired up.”

Gordon, who grew up in nearby Pittsboro, dreamed of racing at the famed speedway. But that was during an era when only open-wheeled cars raced at the famed track, and the dream appeared distant when Gordon chose stock cars as a career path.

“As a kid, I remember taking the bus around here, going to the museum and just thinking how cool it would be to race on the track one day,” Gordon said. “The opportunity to race here in open-wheeled cars never materialized, and I chose to pursue racing stock cars in NASCAR.”

The dream to race over the yard of bricks came to fruition in 1994 when the inaugural stock car race was held at the speedway. And in dream-like fashion, Gordon raced to victory.

“That is still one of the most memorable moments of my career,” Gordon said. “I thought I’d lost that chance to race here. Then, to get that chance in a stock car and to win was just incredible.

“Now I get the opportunity to race here every year, and I’ve been fortunate to win the event four times.”

Gordon is part of an elite group of drivers that have posted at least four wins at the speedway. Al Unser, Rick Mears and A.J. Foyt each have four Indianapolis 500 victories while Michael Schumacher was the winner of five United States Grand Prix’s. Along with his victories in 1994, 1998, 2001 and 2004, the driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet has three pole positions, eight top-five finishes and 11 top-10s in 14 starts.

“We’ve had a lot of success here, so it’s a race that I always look forward to and this team looks forward to,” Gordon said. “You gear up to win the Brickyard—pretty much every team and driver is geared up to win this race.

“There is just so much history here, and a win makes you part of that history.”