Coming into Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Jeff Gordon was reminded of his age. Twenty years since his win in the inaugural Brickyard 400. Two decades. If that doesn’t make more gray hairs appear, nothing will.
The gray hair is the only thing people see, it seems. Murmurs of retirement have entered the air following a strong youth movement. A living legend is now a ‘has been’ to some, just finishing his time in the No. 24 before a younger driver slips in.
To anyone who thoroughly believes that: get your head checked.
At the ripe age of 43, Gordon won the 2014 Brickyard 400. It is his 90th career win and fifth Brickyard victory. It came at the expense of teammate Kasey Kahne with 17 laps to go. The restart shoved No. 24 to the outside, yet he slipped past leader Kahne and took off. Kahne would fade, succumbing to fuel mileage miscalculations on the final lap.
The eldest member at Hendrick Motorsports fought and outraced the youthful. That’s pretty good for a so-called ‘has been.’
HMS is shaping up to be prominent force in The Chase, which is only six weeks away. Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and Jimmie Johnson all have multiple wins, locking them into NASCAR’s version of the playoffs. Kahne is still on the outside looking in, suffering from the dreaded Fourth Car Syndrome. Because of the No. 5’s close call, many fans of the driver are upset about Gordon’s lack of team spirit, so to say. Some went as far as saying they’d rather have Kahne back at Red Bull Racing, his one-season stop before joining the Hendrick organization.
Gordon wasn’t going to give Kahne anything. He had pure desire running through his veins, the word ‘retirement’ echoing in his head. Gordon wanted it, maybe even more than Kahne.
The driver of the No. 24 car may be an old dog, but every dog has his day. The day of the 2014 Brickyard 400 was Gordon’s.
Point Standings after the Brickyard 400 (asterisk denotes number of victories)
1. Jeff Gordon (–)**
2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (-24)**
3. Brad Keselowski (-51)***
4. Matt Kenseth (-56)
5. Jimmie Johnson (-89)***
6. Kyle Busch (-108)*
7. Ryan Newman (-11)
8. Carl Edwards (-114)**
9. Joey Logano (-126)**
10. Clint Bowyer (-140)
11. Denny Hamlin (-145)*
12. Kevin Harvick (-152)**
13. Kyle Larson (-155)
14. Austin Dillon (-158)
15. Kasey Kahne (-162)
16. Paul Menard (-166)