NASCAR notebook: Gordon’s consecutive start streak will reach 750 on Sunday

Starting spot doesn't worry Logano; Kenseth still looking for first win.

NASCAR notebook: Gordon’s consecutive start streak will reach 750 on Sunday
Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Race winner Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet and Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Race winner Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford

Making 750 starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is quite an accomplishment in itself. 

Doing so without interruption is even more remarkable. 

Jeff Gordon will make his 750th start at NASCAR’s highest level in Sunday night’s Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Gordon hasn’t missed a race since he took the green flag in Cup competition for the first time, in November 1992 at Atlanta. 

“It seems like just yesterday that it started right here, over 20 years ago,” Gordon said. “I love this track, love racing here, so it’s pretty cool to have 750 happening here.” 

If Gordon’s streak remains unbroken, he’ll surpass Ricky Rudd’s series-record 788 consecutive starts in the 28th race of 2015, at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. 

Gordon’s longevity, and the four series championships that have accompanied it, have earned the driver of the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet a number of enviable perks over the years.

Air Force One 

Earlier this week, he got an invitation to tour Air Force One when President Barack Obama visited Charlotte, N.C. 

“I was testing in Martinsville, and so luckily my mom and my dad were able to go as well as (wife) Ingrid and the kids,” Gordon said. “They didn’t expect to be able to say ‘hi’ to President Obama. They just thought they were going to go and have a tour. So it was quite a surprise and quite an experience for them. 

“They’ve been talking about it all week and how cool it was. It’s interesting these days. You know, you have a seven-year-old daughter (Ella), who missed a day of school and then goes back the next day and they say, ‘Where were you?’ and she says she was seeing the president and I went on Air Force One and they’re like ‘Oh, right, where were you?’” 

Logano: Mid-pack start not a problem

In Friday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying session at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Joey Logano failed to make the final session of knockout time trials for the first time on an open-motor track. 

Logano qualified 14th for Sunday’s Oral-B USA 500 at the 1.54-mile track, but the winner of last week’s Bristol race isn’t particularly concerned about his starting position. Logano’s No. 22 Team Penske Ford was fast enough to pace Saturday’s first Sprint Cup practice session with a lap at 189.351 mph. 

“You have to go fast for a long time here, but we were OK, even on the long runs, Logano said after the session, which was truncated by an afternoon rainstorm. “We never put new tires on it, so we kind of just kept working, 

“We’ll see. I think the 4 car (of pole winner Kevin Harvick) is super-fast, but I don’t think we’re far behind him.”

Kenseth wants that win

Matt Kenseth is a likely Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifier whether he wins one of the final two regular-season races or not, but the driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota would rather solidify his Chase berth with a victory. 

In final Sprint Cup practice at Atlanta, Kenseth was headed in the right direction. He was fastest in the Happy Hour with a lap at 188.251 mph. Given that Atlanta is a track where the Gibbs cars traditionally have excelled, Kenseth has to like his chances in race trim on Sunday night.

NASCAR Wire, Reid Spencer

 

shares
comments
Bass Pro Shops founder on Stewart: "We are proud to stand by him"

Previous article

Bass Pro Shops founder on Stewart: "We are proud to stand by him"

Next article

Can Joey Logano continue his winning ways in Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Atlanta?

Can Joey Logano continue his winning ways in Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Atlanta?
Load comments
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Prime

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future…

NASCAR Cup
Nov 18, 2020
Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture Prime

Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture

“You can’t hear me? Hey n*****” Those fateful words uttered by Kyle Larson, spoken into his esports headset on April 12, were directed at his sim racing spotter – but instead they quickly became amplified around the world via social media, including his own Twitch stream.

NASCAR Cup
Oct 29, 2020