HAMPTON, Ga.— Making 750 starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is quite an accomplishment in itself.
Doing so without interruption is even more remarkable.
Jeff Gordon will make his 750th start at NASCAR’s highest level in Sunday night’s Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Gordon hasn’t missed a race since he took the green flag in Cup competition for the first time, in November 1992 at Atlanta.
“It seems like just yesterday that it started right here, over 20 years ago,” Gordon said. “I love this track, love racing here, so it’s pretty cool to have 750 happening here.”
If Gordon’s streak remains unbroken, he’ll surpass Ricky Rudd’s series-record 788 consecutive starts in the 28th race of 2015, at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Gordon’s longevity, and the four series championships that have accompanied it, have earned the driver of the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet a number of enviable perks over the years.
Earlier this week, he got an invitation to tour Air Force One when President Barack Obama visited Charlotte, N.C.
“I was testing in Martinsville, and so luckily my mom and my dad were able to go as well as (wife) Ingrid and the kids,” Gordon said. “They didn’t expect to be able to say ‘hi’ to President Obama. They just thought they were going to go and have a tour. So it was quite a surprise and quite an experience for them.
“They’ve been talking about it all week and how cool it was. It’s interesting these days. You know, you have a seven-year-old daughter (Ella), who missed a day of school and then goes back the next day and they say, ‘Where were you?’ and she says she was seeing the president and I went on Air Force One and they’re like ‘Oh, right, where were you?’”