INDIANAPOLIS—Sunday was Jeff Gordon's day—in more ways than one.
On the track, he fulfilled Hendrick Motorsports Owner Rick Hendrick's prediction.
"I told him this morning that this was his day," Hendrick said. "He’s been so good on the long runs at every track and he gets around this place so well."
But more than that, Gordon earned his NASCAR-record fifth win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on what was literally his day.
On Friday, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard declared Sunday Jeff Gordon Day.
"Now I just hope my competitors are respectful of this on Sunday, sort of move out of the way," Gordon joked at the time.
While that didn't happen, Gordon used what he called "the restart of my life" to pull away from Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne and grab the lead for good with 17 laps to go in the 400-mile race.
"I've got to thank him," Gordon said of Kahne. "He raced me awesome and clean."
The win set a new NASCAR record and gave Hendrick Motorsports its 225th victory on the 20th anniversary of Gordon's inaugural Brickyard 400 win.
"For him to break that tie is pretty special," Hendrick said. "We’re a little bit older than we were 20 years ago, but this is a great win. What a way with Jeff here in Indianapolis where this is his own track. I remember how good it felt. This one feels just as good.”
Gordon said his No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet SS was "awesome," and he dedicated the win to his fans.
"This one is for all those fans throughout the years and all weekend long. They’re saying, 'We believe you can get number five,'" he smiled. "We got number five!"