Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports eyeing Cup milestones
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Jeff Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports were among the leaders in a NASCAR poll that asked media members and fans, ‘What’s next on the milestone marker?’
Here are the top-three choices in order of the fan vote:
1. Jeff Gordon grabs NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win No. 85
The Info: Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, posted his 84th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory last month at Pocono Raceway. With that win, he matched NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison and NHOF inductee Darrell Waltrip for third on the all-time series wins list.
The “Odds”: Gordon’s two wins this season suggest this milestone will be reached sooner than later. Gordon has a combined 20 victories at the next five tracks: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Pocono Raceway, Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, Michigan International Speedway and Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
The Results: Gordon was the top vote-getter in the fan vote at 45 percent. He garnered 17 percent of the media vote.
2. Kyle Busch reaches 50-win mark in the NASCAR Nationwide Series
The Info: Win No. 50 would seem just a formality for Busch, who posted a record 13 wins a year ago to erase Sam Ard’s 1983 single-season mark of 10 victories. He’s won six times in 2011 and never fewer than nine times a year from 2008-2010.
The “Odds”: This one’s tougher than it looks. True, His 2011 win percentage is at a stunning 40 percent. But, he’ll sit out the next three NASCAR Nationwide races. His next start isn’t until Watkins Glen on Aug. 13.
The Results: Media have covered a Kyle Busch win far too many times to stray away from this one – it got a whopping 66 percent of the media vote, compared to 16 percent of the fan vote.
3. Hendrick Motorsports notches win No. 200 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
The Info: Hendrick Motorsports matched Petty Enterprises’ record 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup driver titles after Jimmie Johnson earned the championship in 2010. With 197 victories, Hendrick Motorsports is nearing win No. 200.
The “Odds”: At the halfway point of the Cup season, Hendrick Motorsports has had some success during its 2011 campaign. Gordon has two wins, while Johnson has one. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has a pair of second-place finishes and Martin added a runner up performance as well. The team has averaged nine wins per season during the last three years.
The Results: Fans rallied behind Hendrick, to the tune of 26 percent of the vote. This one got only 10 percent from the media.