Gordon wins pole, set to hit milestones Sunday
Photo by Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images
Jeff Gordon poses with the Coors Light Pole Award at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The pole was Gordon's third of 2014.
With a lap time of 29.876, Jeff Gordon earned the pole Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway for Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400.
The pole position is Gordon’s third of 2014, marking the most poles he has won since 2008. Scoring his 77th career pole, Gordon also scored the 200th career pole for Hendrick Motorsports.
“I think today's pole just proves and shows why [Hendrick Motorsports has] 200 poles; it's a great organization, we just never quit,” Gordon said. “We always are bringing great race cars and great power to the racetrack and just surrounded by good people, and that's what contributes to wins and to poles.
“We take poles very seriously. They're hard to get. It's a lot of work. It's a great reward, as well, because we all know how important it is to have good pit stops, and a good pit stall makes a big difference there as well as that all-important track position.”
Gordon becomes the 12th driver to win a pole at the track in the 16 Sprint Cup sanctioned races at Homestead-Miami Speedway. With Friday’s effort being Gordon’s first pole at the track, there are now three tracks left on schedule he has not won a pole at. (Kansas, Kentucky and Las Vegas)
After elimination last week in Phoenix from playoff contention, Gordon faces the possibility of finishing as low as tenth in overall points but as high as fifth. Gordon talked about what it would mean to finish ahead of the four championship contenders on Sunday.
Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images
Jeff Gordon talks with reporters at Phoenix International Raceway. Gordon missed making the Championship Round by one point.
“Everybody's goal is to come in here and sort of spoil the championship by winning this race,” Gordon said. “This is one of my favorite races to win, and that's because you have the longest stretch between when the next race is, so you can enjoy it probably longer than any other race that we have because you end the season with it.
“This is a tough place to win at. Yeah, there's a lot on the line for those guys, and we want to be the spoiler. There's no doubt about that.”
If Gordon can finish Sunday’s race, it would mark the first time in the four-time champion’s career he would complete every race in a season without posting a DNF.
And because Jeff Burton is not racing in Sunday’s race, Gordon will become the only driver to run all 16 races at Homestead-Miami since the track was added the Sprint Cup Series schedule in 1999.
Stats provided by racing-reference.info.