Last plate appearance: No. 24 by the numbers at ‘Dega, Daytona
Like a lot of his fellow racers, Jeff Gordon has a love-hate relationship with Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, the two restrictor-plate tracks in NASCAR.
Gordon has 12 NASCAR Premier Series points race victories at the two plate tracks, which ties him with Richard Petty for second behind the late Dale Earnhardt, who has 13. Included in the total are three Daytona 500 victories for Gordon. He also has 15 DNFs at plate tracks.
Sunday’s CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega will be Gordon’s final restrictor-plate race. It will be a last chance for Gordon to tie Earnhardt’s record and where Gordon finishes will determine whether or not he advances to the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Gordon will start the Talladega race from the pole, after being fastest in both rounds of qualifying on Saturday. His pole speed in the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet was 194.500 miles per hour. Asked Friday how he felt about his final plate race, Gordon laughed.
"When the race is over, I’ll give you my thoughts," Gordon said. "Right now I want my mindset to be excited and positive about coming in here to win this race and move on to the next round of the Chase."
Here are Gordon’s lifetime stats at restrictor-plate tracks heading into Sunday’s race:
Top 5s: 28
Top 10s: 40
Laps led: 1,604
Miles led: 4,848.434