By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service
Distributed by The Sports Xchange
In Sunday's Crown Royal presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard, Jeff Gordon won the 90th race of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career.
That's third on the all-time list, 15 races behind second-place David Pearson. No one, not even Gordon, thinks reaching Pearson's 105-victory mark is realistic. Since his six-win season in 2007, Gordon has been to Victory Lane nine times.
Fifteen more is a lot to ask.
But Gordon does have milestones that are within reach. Starting with his Cup debut in the final race of the 1992 season, Gordon hasn't missed a race in 22 years. At Indianapolis on Sunday, he started his 745th straight event.
Assuming Gordon stays in the seat of the No. 24 Chevrolet in every race through the 2015 season, he will break Ricky Rudd's series-record 788 consecutive starts in the 28th race next year.
Gordon led 40 laps on Sunday, bringing his career total to 23,949, sixth most all-time. If he drives for two more seasons beyond the current one, he has a realistic shot at leading 25,000 laps, perhaps catching the next driver on the list, Pearson, who racked up 25,159 laps led.
Gordon and teammate Jimmie Johnson are currently 1-2 in career prize money earned. Gordon has won $141,808,966 (exclusive of contingency awards) to Johnson's $139,274,851. The way Gordon is running now, he may well win the race to $150 million.
Even if he doesn't get to 105 victories, that's a nice consolation prize.
2,561: The number of laps completed by Tony Stewart in 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Stewart is the only driver to have finished on the lead lap in every Brickyard 400 in which he has raced. That streak was in jeopardy on Sunday, when Stewart fell one lap down, but an opportune caution helped him to a 17th-place, lead-lap finish.
3: The number of drivers who have won races on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval in three different decades. On Sunday at the Brickyard, Jeff Gordon joined the exclusive club whose membership previously was confined to Indy 500 winners Bobby Unser and Rick Mears.
70: The number of laps led by Kasey Kahne in Sunday's Crown Royal presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. That's six more laps than Kahne had led in 19 previous races this season.
12: The number of consecutive victories for Chevrolet in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Indianapolis, an amazing streak for a single manufacturer. The last non-Chevy winner of a Cup race at the Brickyard was Bill Elliott in a Ray Evernham Dodge.
8: The number of years since a driver has swept both events in a single season at Pocono Raceway. Denny Hamlin last did the honors during his 2006 rookie season, winning both races from the pole. Dale Earnhardt Jr., the June winner at the Tricky Triangle, could make the No. 88 Chevy a three-time winner this year by completing a sweep next Sunday.
Jeff Gordon captured a record-setting fifth win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, a day full of incredible numbers. It was also his 90th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory, good for third on the all-time series wins list. His fifth Brickyard win ties Formula 1 great Michael Schumacher atop Indy's all-time wins list. ... Dale Earnhardt Jr., who this upcoming weekend returns to Pocono Raceway looking for only the second season sweep of his career. If Earnhardt repeats his June Pocono triumph, it would be his first track sweep since 2002 at Talladega. ... Eleven different drivers have won at least one race this season. There are six races remaining. With a 16-driver Chase Grid, the math becomes troubling for some deeper down the points standings. In other words, for some, a win has become imperative. Kasey Kahne, still winless in 2014, is the defending winner of this race. After a strong effort at Indy, he's a prime candidate to add his name to the winners list. So too is Tony Stewart, a two-time winner at Pocono. ... With multiple wins this season, and having enough points to guarantee a top 30 points position, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards and Joey Logano clinched a spot in the 2014 Chase.
--I'm not one to offer parenting advice, but having kids kiss the yard of bricks has to be confusing for these young children. All I'm saying is if I am Leo Gordon and I finally give in to my parents' wishes and kiss the yard of bricks, I'm going to be confused as heck a few days later if they yell at me for licking mustard off the driveway or something.
--Jeff Gordon is the first driver in NASCAR history to win the same race exactly 20 years apart. We're in the process of finding other interesting historical tidbits that basically imply that Jeff Gordon is really old.
--It's official -- Carl Edwards will not be at Roush-Fenway Racing next year. The official announcement was emailed Sunday, and followed by several "Can You Endorse Me?" LinkedIn requests from Carl himself.
(Follow @nascarcasm on Twitter. His unique views on NASCAR are his own -- but chances are you have probably figured that out by now.)
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