Call it a youth movement inside the 24 team. Yes it’s the same old driver, same crew chief and same pit crew. But after Saturday night’s win at the Kansas Speedway, Jeff Gordon feels like a kid again.
“"I have been having so much fun,” said Gordon. “I'm going to be 43 this year and I feel like I'm 25 again. That is the way (my team) makes me feel."
And he should be having fun. Gordon’s 24 team has been the most consistent team in the garage since the green flag dropped on the Daytona 500 back in February. He has been able to parlay that into the points lead, even without a win heading into Kansas.
“If we kept performing the way we were performing, I felt like it (a win) was going to come,” said crew chief Alan Gustafson. “We just got to continue, there’s a long way to go, we just got to continue to grow the momentum.”
So is the 24 back? Is this the year that Gordon can finally win that coveted fifth title and first in the Sprint Cup era? Well they have taken care of the first step, they are in the chase.
“That first win is so crucial, and it's not a guarantee, but it's almost a guarantee,” said Gordon. “But I think once you get that first win, it only leads you to the ability to take risks to get the next win.”
And the way Gordon has been running, you knew it was just a matter of time before they found victory lane. It’s a far cry from the retirement talk that has popped up from time to time in regard to Gordon. It appears instead that 42 is new 24.
“The whole retirement thing I think is thrown out there too much, and I'm probably somewhat to blame,” said Gordon. “But there's no secret, I'm going to be 43 this year, but, man, if 43 is like this, I can't wait for 50. This is all right. I'm having a good time. That's why I feel young, because I'm just having a great time.”