By admin | April 5, 2009
By Richard Allen
Jeff Gordon took care of a number of issues that have long plagued him on Sunday in the Samsung 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway.
First, he ended a personal winless streak in the Sprint Cup Series that dated back to the 2007 season. In 2008, Gordon had his first winless season as a driver since he won his first race back in 1994. That streak, which covered 47 races,Â has ended with his trip to victory lane on Sunday.
The win was the 82nd of his career. He is now one win shy of tying Cale Yarborough for 5th on the all time NASCAR wins list and he is two victories short of the 84 earned by Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Allison.
A second piece of business that has long plagued the driver of car #24 has been the fact that he had never won on the Fort Worth track. Prior to Sundayâ€™s run, Gordon had not won at TMS in sixteen previous attempts. Now, only the Homestead-Miami Speedway remains on the list of tracks he has yet to conquer.
And the most important business of all that the four time champion took care of on Sunday was to let everyone know not to take his early season success lightly. He is indeed a serious threat to claim a fifth title in 2009.
Although he came into the Samsung 500 as the points leader, he may not have been regarded quite as seriously as he should have been because of the winless streak. That can no longer be the case. Gordon not only proved he could Top 5 his way to a points lead but he showed he still has the ability to go out and dominate a race.
Make no mistake, Jeff Gordon will be a serious contender come Chase for the Championship time. As a matter of fact, calling him the favorite, even at this early stage, might not be too far fetched.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
*For a little mindless entertainment click on the link below to watch the latest episode of my animated short film series, “Racing Re-Cap: Texas”.
It seems as though serious racing reporter Mark Mustang is having trouble with his recap of this weekend’s events in Texas because his co-host, Daisy Dreamboat, had too good of a weekend and is anxious to share.
None of the characters represent any real people.
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