Jeff Gordon's Latest Promise: Breakdance in Victory Lane
Jeff Gordon's mustache might be gone, but the lighthearted bravado that inspired the throwback look remains despite a disastrous start to the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
The four-time champion, who dutifully made good on a promise to sport a pencil-thin wisp of hair on his upper lip if he qualified for the Chase, made another oath he might regret Thursday.
Unveiling a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles paint scheme on his No. 24 Chevrolet for the Oct. 14 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Gordon vowed to breakdance in victory lane with his 2-year-old son, Leo, if he wins the Bank of America 500.
"It might be light," laughed Gordon, who stunned many with his deft repertoire of 1980s electric boogaloo moves last December in an impromptu performance during the postseason awards ceremony in Las Vegas. "I've got to teach Leo to dance. A win is huge, as I've already shown, I'm a man of my word. I can pull off a couple of little moves that maybe won't hurt me too bad."
The mood was upbeat in the Charlotte garage Thursday and not just because Leo seemed spellbound while hobnobbing with life-size reptilian cartoon characters garbed in multicolored bandit masks ("My kids love Nickelodeon," said Gordon, who also has a 5-year-old, Ella).
Though he is 47 points behind Chase leader Brad Keselowski entering Sunday's Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Gordon said a 35th at Chicagoland Speedway didn't blunt all the momentum from his team's memorable surge to overcome long odds and snag the final wild-card berth with three consecutive top-three finishes.
"I wouldn't say we're going into the next nine weeks going, 'Oh, man, we're the team to beat,'" he said. "But we're not going to give up. We proved once this year on how we made it into the Chase. Nothing would be sweeter than to prove we can win a championship even with (a poor result).
"I don't think it changes things. We were the same way going into Chicago that we will be this weekend. We'll be taking risks with our setups, doing everything we can to win. We know how far behind we are, and the only way to make up that amount of points is you've got to take more chances."
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