Jeff Gordon marked a milestone at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race the Oral-B 500 held at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, Aug. 31. Gordon made his then Winston Cup debut for the 1992 Hooters 500 at Atlanta, the final race of the 1992 season, along with Richard Petty’s final race in NASCAR, Gordon finished 31st after crashing.
Gordon, starting full time in 1993, has been driving the #24 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports for his entire career marking 750th starts in the Cup level. Gordon has never missed a race since his first event at Atlanta almost 22 years ago.
It is quite an achievement considering the all time record is 788 consecutive starts held by Ricky Rudd.
Gordon, who has gone to victory lane five times at Atlanta, was a favorite going into Sunday evening’s Oral-B 500 after a solid run up a high of second, the #24 Panasonic Chevrolet cut a right front tire on Lap 75 going into Turn 3 and hit the outside wall beginning out the second caution of the night.
The #24 crew went to work to make repairs and clear the fenders, as the race continued under green. As a result of slamming into the wall, Gordon dropped from second to running two laps down, for much of the race, but as the race went into over-time Gordon regained both laps and finished the race in 17th.
Gordon, as well as Hendrick Motorsports teammates Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Jimmie Johnson, and the Penske teammates of Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano, each have three victories for the 2014 season and are locked into the 16 driver Chase for the Sprint Cup champion field.