Gordon can tie -- and surpass -- Yarborough at Darlington
- May 05, 2009
- 5 Team
DARLINGTON, S.C. (May 5, 2009) - With a win on Saturday night at Darlington Raceway, Jeff Gordon can tie Cale Yarborough in victories. And, because of a name change, he can surpass Yarborough, too.
Gordon, who has 82 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories, is one win shy of fifth-ranked Yarborough on the all-time NASCAR Cup Series wins list and only two away from tying Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip for third. At Darlington, Gordon has seven wins, three pole positions, 16 top-five finishes and 19 top-10s in 28 Cup starts. Five of those victories occurred in the Southern 500, tying him with Yarborough for most victories in that famed event.
And for the first time in five years, the iconic name returns in honor of 60 years of racing at Darlington. That means Gordon has a shot at surpassing Yarborough in wins at the historic racetrack.
“I was able to spend some time with Cale a few years back at an event at the track,” said Gordon, who will drive a specially-painted No. 24 DuPont/National Guard Chevrolet in the 367-lap event. “It was neat to hear him tell stories about racing here during that era.
“The cars have changed, the speeds have changed and the asphalt has changed, but I don’t believe the driver’s thinking has changed one bit. You race the track here, not the other competitors.”
While another win would move him up another notch on the career victories list, that is not a source of motivation.
“It’s cool to be mentioned in the same sentence as guys like Cale, Bobby and Darrell, and it’s something I’ll look back on at the end of my career,” said Gordon, who currently leads the driver standings. “But we arrive at the race track each weekend focused on trying to win, not on catching or passing people on a list.
“Our real motivation is winning the championship, and we hope we can win races as we work toward that goal.”