Pittsboro, Indiana's Jeff Gordon made history on Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, winning for the fifth time on the iconic 2.5-mile oval.
Gordon took the lead on a Lap 143 restart in his No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet and held off Kyle Busch the rest of the way at the Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at The Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com, thrilling his many fans and rewriting the record book at the Racing Capital of the World.
"I don't think there's a greater feeling for a racecar driver and a race team," Gordon said. "It's such a great race and such an important victory and such an important moment in the season and championship."
The Sprint Cup Series points leader came to Indianapolis this week in a tie with his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson for the most wins at IMS - four. Now, he stands on another pedestal alongside Michael Schumacher as the only drivers to win five races at IMS. Schumacher won the Formula One United States Grand Prix five times, in 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006.
Gordon had previously won at IMS in 1994, 1998, 2001 and 2004, and on Friday he was honored on the 20th anniversary of the first win. Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles presented the 42-year-old with a No. 24 placard from the IMS scoring pylon that was removed last month, and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard proclaimed Sunday "Jeff Gordon Day."
It was indeed his day.
"I told him this morning that 'this is your day,'" said Rick Hendrick, Gordon's car owner. "He gets around this place so well and for him to break that tie (with Johnson) is pretty special. We're a little bit older than we were 20 years ago, but it's a great win. I remember the first one and how good it felt, this one feels just as good."
As is the tradition at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Gordon kissed the bricks and allowed himself to finally soak in the moment with his adoring fans.
"I was trying so hard with 10 (laps) to go not to focus on the crowd," Gordon said. "Every once in a while I'd glance up there and see the reaction and I was trying not to let it get to me, but you can't help it -- it's such a great race."