Aug 4, 2014, 9:33 PM EST
As if he wasn’t there already by virtue of his four Sprint Cup championships and 90 career wins, Jeff Gordon moved into some very lofty company in Sunday’s GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway.
On the eve of his 43rd birthday (Monday, Aug. 4), Gordon passed a rather significant milestone of leading 24,000 laps in his 22-season Sprint Cup career.
Gordon is now only the sixth driver in the 65-year history of NASCAR’s premier racing series to hit 24,000 laps led, and the first one to achieve that milestone since the late Dale Earnhardt hit 24,000 in 1996.
Richard Petty leads all drivers with 51,380 laps led, followed by Cale Yarborough (31,556), Bobby Allison (27,551), Earnhardt (25,684) and David Pearson (25,294).
By comparison, Jimmie Johnson, who has won six of the last eight Sprint Cup championships, has led only 16,849 laps in his career.
Leaving Pocono, Gordon has now led 24,012 laps in his career. For those of you doing the math, he now needs 1,283 more laps to pass Pearson for fifth on the all-time laps led list.
What’s more, Gordon is just three laps away from equaling the number of laps he led in 2013 (434 laps), 137 away from his total of 568 in 2012 and 491 laps away from his total of 922 in 2011.
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