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Archive for Monday, August 9, 2004

Jeff Gordon wins fourth at Indy

Driver sets NASCAR record with Brickyard 400 victory

August 9, 2004

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— Jeff Gordon couldn't wait to kiss the bricks Sunday after matching his heroes with a fourth victory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The driver, who spent his teen years living within 25 miles of the track, made history with his fourth victory in the Brickyard 400, joining open-wheel drivers A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears as four-time winners at the storied speedway.

"It feels amazing," Gordon said. "I can't compare four (wins) in a stock car to what my heroes like Rick Mears and A.J. Foyt and those guys did here. To win at this speedway, I can't even describe the feeling right now."

As he crossed the finish line, the jubilant Gordon yelled into his radio: "Let's go kiss those bricks."

He was referring to the NASCAR tradition started in 1996 -- the third year the race was held here -- by two-time Brickyard winner Dale Jarrett of the victorious driver and team kneeling and kissing the yard of bricks that mark the Indy finish line.

Gordon made it look easy most of the day, dominating on the way to his fifth win of the season and the 69th of his NASCAR career.

The four-time series champion, who won the inaugural NASCAR event here in 1994 and added victories in 1998 and 2001, led 124 of the 161 laps on the 21/2-mile oval, but still had to fend off Jarrett in a pair of late restarts.

Elliott Sadler, Jarrett's Robert Yates Racing teammate, finished third, followed by rookie Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, Jamie McMurray and 2003 Brickyard winner Kevin Harvick.

"Jeff was just too good on the restarts for us," Jarrett said. "I didn't need that last caution. I thought I was gaining on him a little bit, but he had the best car all day.

"Elliott was actually better on the restarts than I was, so he probably would have been better served to be second trying to get to Jeff."

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