CONCORD, N.C. – In 1992, Jeff Gordon swept both NASCAR XFINITY Series races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
In 1994, he won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the 1.5-mile track, taking the checkered flag in the Coca-Cola 600.
But should Gordon triumph in Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 (on NBC at 7 p.m. ET), he believes that victory might be his most significant at Charlotte, given the stakes involved.
A win would propel Gordon, or any of the other remaining 11 Chase drivers, into the Eliminator Round of the Chase—without having to sweat out the Oct. 25 race at unpredictable Talladega.
“That could possibly be one of the biggest moments I’ve ever had at Charlotte, if we do that,” Gordon said. “You know that, if you get a victory here this weekend, the relief that you’re going to feel—to not have to go to Talladega (and post a top finish), to not even have to worry about Kansas (Oct. 18)—it’s huge. It’s absolutely huge.
“Not to mention what I’ve been saying all year long, if we can make it to Round 3 (Eliminator Round), I think our chances of making it to (the Championship Round at) Homestead are actually very, very good. Not because we’ve been running spectacularly, but because Martinsville’s on the schedule (as the first race of the Eliminator Round).
“Martinsville’s a track I feel like we can always go to and have a shot at winning that race. So this is a big weekend for everybody, but it would be monumental—I guess that’s the way to put it—if we could go to Victory Lane.”