Michigan wins elusive for Gordon at favorite track
- Jun 10, 2009
- 24 Team
BROOKLYN, Mich. (June 10, 2009) - Only 0.024 percent of Jeff Gordon’s 82 career wins have occurred at Michigan International Speedway (MIS). Yet the site of Sunday’s LifeLock 400 remains his favorite track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule.
Gordon, who will drive a specially painted No. 24 DuPont/National Guard “Year of the NCO” Chevrolet this weekend, has two wins at MIS. But he has run well at the two-mile facility since his 1993 rookie season in NASCAR’s top division. Visit Hendrick Motorsports multimedia to see more shots of the No. 24 Chevy.
In two starts at MIS that year, Gordon posted top-five finishes in each event including a second-place finish behind then teammate Ricky Rudd in the June event. His success continued at the track – albeit without a victory – as Gordon scored eight top-five finishes in his first 11 starts. His maiden victory occurred in the August 1998 event.
“I’ve always loved racing here – it’s my favorite track,” said Gordon, who posted a 4.5 average finish in 14 MIS starts in the ‘90’s. “You would think my favorite track would be one where I’ve won more times, but I love Michigan.
“The track is big, wide, and it’s fast. The corners have multiple grooves, so you can run from the white line all the way to the wall. And you can change your angles in and off the corners. It’s just an all-around great track because the drivers can do so much here to change their racing line.”
Gordon’s second win at the Irish Hills track came in 2001, and it marked Hendrick Motorsports’ 100th victory in NASCAR’s premier series. Along with two victories, the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion also has five pole positions, 15 top-five finishes and 20 top-10s in 32 starts at MIS. He is also one lap shy of 900 led at the Michigan track.
“Variable banking seems to be the preferred banking at tracks now, and this track has it,” said Gordon, who is second in the driver standings. “However, I think it’s by accident here. The foundation underneath the track—that they accidentally happened to have in there—has created some great lines and grooves, which creates great racing in my opinion.
“You can’t copy it—it’s just a great track. It’s the way the soil, the foundation and everything settled.”