Jul 25, 2014, 11:39 AM EST
At the conclusion of Jeff Gordon‘s press conference this morning at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indy mayor Greg Ballard read a proclamation that declared Sunday, July 27, 2014 – the day of this year’s Brickyard 400 – as “Jeff Gordon Day” in the city.
“I just hope my competitors are respectful of this, and on Sunday, they’ll just sort of move out of the way,” quipped Gordon, the four-time Brickyard champ and current Sprint Cup points leader.
Joking aside, Gordon feels like he has his best opportunity at becoming the first five-time winner in a stock car at IMS in a while.
“There’s no doubt that this is the best chance that we’ve had at winning this race legitimately, with the speed of the car, as we’ve had in a very long time,” said Gordon, who’s celebrating the 20th anniversary of his victory in the inaugural Brickyard back in 1994.
“It’s obvious that there’s some competitors out there that are going to be tough, including our teammates. But I think the preparation that we’ve put into it and what we’ve been working on since the break – prior, leading into that really – we’re really excited about seeing what we have here today and this weekend.
“From an overall strength of the team and speed of the cars, this is by far the best chance we’ve had of winning in a long time.”
Gordon is also enjoying the fact that he isn’t having to deal with the pressure of having to scrap for a Chase spot like he’s had over the last couple of years.
In 2012, Gordon had to rally from one lap down in the regular season finale at Richmond before he made it into the Chase with a second-place finish.
Before getting his playoff reprieve from Brian France, Gordon and his No. 24 team went through multiple bouts of inconsistency in the 2013 regular season.
But in 2014, Gordon’s been running like clockwork with a Chase-clinching win at Kansas, 13 Top-10s, and an average finish of 9.6. He says that the team’s been doing a great job of putting themselves in strong positions throughout the race weekends, but also feels that they need to improve further.
“I’ve always said that you make your own luck, and I think that we’re doing that this year,” he said. “We’re running up front, we’re qualifying up front, we’re making smart decisions, and we’ve got good race cars.
“It’s great to be in this position but we also look at our competitors and we know we haven’t won the most races and we need to win more, so we’re taking what we’ve done so far and looking at the positives and how good it is, and we’re enjoying that.
“But we’re also working really, really hard because we want to be the best out there. And I feel like even though we’re leading the points with this new system, we’ve got to be better than this if we’re going to win the championship.”
Gordon also received one more item this morning from IMS president J. Douglas Boles – the No. 24 placard from the track’s second-generation scoring pylon that was taken down recently (a new video pylon has since been installed).
Dec 25, 2014, 3:42 PM EST
Just in time for the holidays, Stewart-Haas Racing and Tony Stewart Nation set a tour of some of the team’s 2014 and 2015 race cars to music from the Nutcracker Suite. It’s a great video, sure to warm even Scrooge’s heart.
Dec 25, 2014, 2:00 PM EST
Junior Nation, rejoice. Your hero is a true contender once more.
Dec 25, 2014, 1:00 PM EST
David Gilliland struggled once again in 2014, but still managed to come away with a Top 30 finish.
Dec 25, 2014, 12:00 PM EST
It was a rough rookie season in the Sprint Cup Series for Justin Allgaier in 2014. But there were enough good signs that point to a better sophomore campaign in 2015.
Dec 25, 2014, 10:00 AM EST
Relax and enjoy this Christmas, and thanks all for reading and support on MST.
Dec 24, 2014, 5:50 PM EST
The future of Italy’s famed Monza racetrack could be in jeopardy after its last scheduled Formula One race in 2016.
Dec 24, 2014, 5:26 PM EST
Police have issued their report on the $60,000, 707-horsepower 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat that crashed just one hour after leaving the dealership last Friday near Brighton, Colorado.
Dec 24, 2014, 3:14 PM EST
The story of aspiring doctor and Sprint Cup driver Patrick Staropoli is featured in one of the most prestigious college journals in the world.
Dec 24, 2014, 2:42 PM EST
Australians are happy to have former NASCAR driver Marcos Ambrose back on home turf. And they’re also thankful for Ambrose’s time in NASCAR.
Top NASCAR stories of 2014: No. 7 – Brad Keselowski’s six wins, but falls short of Championship Round
Dec 24, 2014, 2:00 PM EST
A six-pack of wins, and nearly a six-pack of controversies for Brad Keselowski in 2014.
Dec 24, 2014, 1:00 PM EST
While her overall 2014 season finish (28th) was one spot lower than 2013 (27th), Danica Patrick still showed improvement in 2014 that could bode well for even better success in 2015.
Dec 24, 2014, 12:00 PM EST
Stenhouse’s second season in Sprint Cup saw him take a tumble in the standings.
Dec 24, 2014, 11:00 AM EST
Korea GP left off updated FIA race calendar for 2015.
Dec 24, 2014, 10:00 AM EST
Paddock Insider checks in with JPM, Helio and more.
Dec 23, 2014, 6:00 PM EST
Love your classic cars? NBCSN has a special gift for you this Christmas…
Dec 23, 2014, 5:00 PM EST
Walker apologizes to those on road during his 2013 high-speed chase with police, says he’s working to get healthy.
Dec 23, 2014, 4:00 PM EST
The Swiss driver – one-half of the new WEC champions – will enter his fifth season in the role.
Dec 23, 2014, 3:00 PM EST
42-year-old Theresa Benn disappeared during the October race weekend at Talladega, and was found dead more than a month later.
Dec 23, 2014, 2:00 PM EST
It took a while, but Logano has finally become what many thought he would be: One of NASCAR’s elite drivers.
Dec 23, 2014, 1:00 PM EST
The nephew of four-time Indy 500 champ Rick Mears performed well on the plate tracks.
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