Vallejo native’s illustrious career at Sonoma Raceway

(FOX40.COM) — Jeff Gordon may be a four-time NASCAR champion and have nearly 100 race wins under his belt, but one of his shining achievements is coming back to Northern California and becoming the most winningest driver at his home track.

Gordon first laid rubber onto the twisting tarmac of Sonoma Raceway in 1993 where he finished 11th after qualifying 15th.

After qualifying 6th in 1994, rear-end damage would see Gordon finish the race in 37th. In 1995 and 1997 Gordon would finish on the podium but still walk away without the win.

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However, in the final years of the 20th century, Gordon would start his winning run at Sonoma as he qualified for pole position in 1998 and 1999 and held the lead for back-to-back wins.

Not looking to let his dominant streak fade, in 2000 Gordon would return to the winner’s circle and secure a three-peat victory.

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Gordon remains the only NASCAR Cup Series driver to take three consecutive victories at Sonoma Raceway.

Martin Truex Jr. is the only driver to come close to matching Gordon with wins in 2018 and 2019. He would lose out to Elk Grove’s Kyle Larson in 2021 to secure the third consecutive win.

In 2001, Gordon would return to pole position at the Northern California track but lose out to one of his strongest rivals, Tony Stewart.

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Gordon would not return to the top step of the podium at Sonoma until 2004 after leading an impressive 92 of 110 laps.

In 2005, Gordon would again secure pole at a track he was now well known for being dominant at, but would once again lose out to Stewart.

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The now four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion would secure his fifth and final win at Sonoma Raceway in 2006.

Gordon would come close to securing three more race wins at Sonoma in 2011, 2013 and 2014 after finishing in second at each race.

In his 23 races at Sonoma Raceway Gordon secured five race wins, 13 podium finishes, five starts from pole position and led a combined 457 laps.

Gordon’s Northern California Roots

Born in Vallejo on Aug. 4, 1972, to Vacaville residents Carol Ann Bickford and William Grinnell Gordon, the boy would show his racing chops at the age of five.

When Gordon was five he began oval-racing in quarter midget cars and is believed to have competed in his first ever race at the Roy Hayer Memorial Race Track in Rio Linda.

Gordon’s talents would shine even as a child as he won 35 main events and set five track records. By 1979 he had secured 51 wins in children’s small-car races called quarter midget races.

The family was not long for California though as they wanted to move somewhere that would provide more racing opportunities for Gordon.

In the 1980s the family moved from Vallejo to Pittsboro, Indiana.

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