Gordon's Quest for Kentucky
By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on June 27, 2014 | 5:38 P.M. EST
"I feel like as good as our cars are this year that this is probably the most legitimate shot that we’ve had of crossing that one off the list." (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)
Gordon has visited Victory Lane at 22 of the current 23 tracks on the tour with only the 1.5-mile Kentucky track missing from the list. Only David Pearson, Richard Petty and Cale Yarborough have completed the feat during their careers, which at the time included just 16 different speedways.
A win in Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 would run the table for Gordon.
“It would be very cool,” said Gordon. “Most of my energy is spent with do we have a shot at winning at this track. I feel like we have run solid here the last few times we have been here. I feel like as good as our cars are this year that this is probably the most legitimate shot that we’ve had of crossing that one off the list.
“It would mean a lot. It would be quite an accomplishment and it’s something that I would love to say I have done.”
The reality of the situation warrants mention that relatively speaking the Sprint Cup Series has a very short history at Kentucky with Saturday night’s race only the fourth appearance by NASCAR’s top division at the track.
But a win and achieving the accomplishment of taking a checkered flag at every track in today’s Sprint Cup Series would be sweet for Gordon who has taken a liking to Kentucky.
“I am a fan,” he said. “Yeah, I like it because it’s a challenging race track and I like a good challenge and our cars have been good here the last few times and so if I feel like we have a shot at winning I usually like that track.”
Gordon has not finished outside the top-10 in his three previous Kentucky starts including an eighth place finish in last year’s race.
But like most drivers, Gordon acknowledges Kentucky’s rough surface as being a challenge.
“We all like a challenge of the grip level going away, maybe a crack or a bump that you have to get over and you can use that to your advantage,” said Gordon. “Just search around the race track before somebody else gets out of shape and you take advantage of that. So the corners here are great. We don’t want them to repave this track, none of us do.”
But while Gordon doesn’t want a full repave, he wouldn’t mind at least a minor adjustment to Kentucky.
“I don’t want them to pave this race track,” he chuckled. “I want them to pave the front straightaway. But I don’t want them to pave the rest of it.”