A Tale of Two Gordons
Jeff Gordon returned to his old stomping grounds last week, a place he hasn't been in a very long time - Victory Lane. There was a time when Jeff Gordon winning was nearly a sure thing. Even the great Dale Earnhardt struggled to stay ahead of the new kid on the track.
That was then - this is now.
When Jeff Gordon came to NASCAR in the early 90s, he was already a winner. The kid was born to race and became a thoroughbred early on. He started racing Quarter Midgets at the age of five and before his seventh birthday had won 35 main events and set numerous track records.
At age 13, Gordon took an interest in the heavier and faster Sprint Cars. He was the USAC Midget Car Racing Rookie of the Year in 1989, but his eyes were locked on NASCAR.
He didn't have a very long wait. In 1990, in what was then the Busch Series (today's Nationwide series) he got his first NASCAR start at Rockingham. He was 20-years-old.
Gordon drove a Bill Davis owned car in Busch for the 1991 - 1992 seasons, winning Rookie of the year in '91.
Jeff Gordon debuted in the Winston Cup (Sprint cup) series at the 1992 Hooters 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. It was his first appearance in the #24 DuPont, a look synonymous with Jeff Gordon. His first race was Richard Petty's last. In a sense, it was a changing of the guard.
In the seven years between 1995 and 2001, Gordon solidified himself in the record books winning four championships and fifty-five trips to Victory Lane. At that time only ten other drivers had won more than fifty races in their career. He was in good company.Continued on the next page