Jeff Gordon positions himself as a favorite to win Sprint Cup title with dominant Michigan Speedway win
Right now, one of those things is that Jeff Gordon is the favorite, or at least a favorite, to win this year's Sprint Cup crown.
At age 43, he is reclaiming some of the dominance he had on this sport back in his 20s, when he took home four championships (the last coming in 2001). He's running up front pretty much every week, and more importantly running better than his teammates Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (as well as everyone else).
If you're not sold on Gordon -- here are the numbers on him:
-- He has now won 91 Cup races in his career, and this is his third win of the year (last time he won 3 races was in 2011).
-- Gordon now leads the point standings by 3 points, over Dale Jr.
-- He has won the last two pole positions (Watkins Glen, Michigan)
I could go on, but you get the point. Numbers show Jeff is back, officially.
It's a team effort of course, with Hendrick equipment, leadership from crew chief Alan Gustafson and of course Jeff behind the wheel. And he's the first to admit that any time you ask him what's behind the resurgence.
"It's everything. It's Hendrick Motorsports and the job that they do collectively.... Everyone who is buildng the chassis and the bodies and the cars back at the shop. The engines are amazing. And then I've got to give so much credit to Alan Gustafson and his crew. This guy is a great leader," Gordon said Sunday after his win at MIS.
And a more mature Gordon knows better how to handle his equipment, and it's paying off for him. Those early years where he ran so well were just raw talent coming out, but this era of Jeff Gordon success is a lot more about decisions he is making behind the wheel.
Either way, the competition better watch out come Chase time.
Because I don't see anybody else running as well right now as Jeff Gordon.
Matt Myftiu can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @MattMyftiu