Gordon wins pole, extends streak
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images
Jeff Gordon scored his 75th career pole Saturday.
With a qualifying time of 68.126, Jeff Gordon extended his streak of winning at least one pole position a season to 22 consecutive seasons—extending the NASCAR record.
Gordon will lead the field to Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International for the first time since 2003.
“I knew it was a good lap, but not that good of a lap,” Gordon said of his pole-run to the media Saturday.
The pole was Gordon’s third career at the track and eighth on a road-course.
Since his fourth win in 2001at WGI, Gordon’s managed to score two top-ten finishes in the 12 races since. The pole position is also the best Gordon has qualified since a pole run in 2003.
Yet, Gordon told the media the confidence and momentum from his team and recent performance helped with his qualifying run.
“Even though Watkins Glen hasn’t been the best for us, we still came in here with confidence of what we’ve been carrying at the other tracks,” Gordon said. “It’s pretty awesome to back that up.”
The pole position is Gordon’s 75th career pole, further solidifying his spot as third all-time.
But because road course racing is the exception and not the rule in NASCAR, the media pressed Gordon Saturday on the physical exertion it takes to run Watkins Glen and what it may do to his back.
“I don’t seem to have too many issues with my back here,” he said. “I think it has to do with turning right. I think my back needs to turn right once in a while.
“[Watkins Glen is] very physically demanding. You’re working really hard with the wheel, with the shifting… When this race is over, it’s probably the only race all year you have to actually ice your shoulder down just from all the demand and how physically aggressive you have to be with shifting to not miss a shift here.
“I feel fit, I feel good, I’m ready for the challenge.”