Jeff Gordon moves into sixth on All-Time Win list
Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet) won the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway to move into sole possession of sixth place on NASCAR’s all-time wins list. Gordon’s victory was the 77th of his career, moving him ahead of Dale Earnhardt. Gordon won last week at Phoenix International Raceway to end a 25-race winless streak and tie Earnhardt with 76 victories.
Gordon’s win was another milestone in an already impressive NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series career. Gordon has four series championships (1995, ’97, ’98 and 2001), second to Earnhardt and Richard Petty who have seven apiece. In addition, Gordon has 60 Budweiser Poles (fourth all-time), 220 top-five and 295 top-10 finishes. His to-date career winnings total is in excess of $84 million, over $20 million more than the next highest competitor, Mark Martin.
Gordon won Sunday’s race from the pole, the 19th time he has accomplished the feat, which ties him with Herb Thomas for sixth on the Wins from the Pole list. His win at Phoenix last week also came from the pole, giving him back-to-back wins from the pole for the third time in his career (2004 at Infineon and Daytona and 1996 at Dover and Pocono).
The win was Gordon’s fifth at Talladega, moving him into a tie with Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the most wins at the track among active drivers. Both run second to Earnhardt who had 10. Gordon has won a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at 22 different tracks. He has won on every track currently on the schedule with the exception of Texas Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. He also has wins at North Wilkesboro Speedway and North Carolina Speedway.
Gordon’s 77th career win came in his 482nd career start. At age 35, Gordon is in his 16th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season. He has driven for the same team – Hendrick Motorsports – since his debut in November 1992, at the age of 20. He has averaged five wins per season; if Gordon competes at the same rate for five more years, he’ll accrue more than 100 career victories.
Earnhardt’s 76th victory came Oct. 15, 2000 at Talladega Superspeedway – his 676th career start. He was 49 years, five months and 16 days old at the time. He competed from 1975-2001 for a total of 27 seasons. Earnhardt drove for eight different owners. He had 22 Budweiser Poles, 280 top-five and 427 top-10 finishes. His career winnings total is $41,531,211.
Other drivers with 76 or more career wins include Petty (200), David Pearson (105), Bobby Allison (84), Darrell Waltrip (84) and Cale Yarborough (83) – all NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champions.