Jeff Gordon hits significant milestone at Pocono: has led over 24,000 laps in Cup career

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As if he wasn’t there already by virtue of his four Sprint Cup championships and 90 career wins, Jeff Gordon moved into some very lofty company in Sunday’s GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway.

On the eve of his 43rd birthday (Monday, Aug. 4), Gordon passed a rather significant milestone of leading 24,000 laps in his 22-season Sprint Cup career.

Gordon is now only the sixth driver in the 65-year history of NASCAR’s premier racing series to hit 24,000 laps led, and the first one to achieve that milestone since the late Dale Earnhardt hit 24,000 in 1996.

Richard Petty leads all drivers with 51,380 laps led, followed by Cale Yarborough (31,556), Bobby Allison (27,551), Earnhardt (25,684) and David Pearson (25,294).

By comparison, Jimmie Johnson, who has won six of the last eight Sprint Cup championships, has led only 16,849 laps in his career.

Leaving Pocono, Gordon has now led 24,012 laps in his career. For those of you doing the math, he now needs 1,283 more laps to pass Pearson for fifth on the all-time laps led list.

What’s more, Gordon is just three laps away from equaling the number of laps he led in 2013 (434 laps), 137 away from his total of 568 in 2012 and 491 laps away from his total of 922 in 2011.

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F1 2017 driver review: Nico Hulkenberg

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Nico Hulkenberg

Team: Renault
Car No.: 27
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P6 (Spain, Great Britain, Belgium, Abu Dhabi)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 43
Championship Position: 10th

Expectations were hard to peg for Renault heading into its second full season back in F1 with a factory team, but Nico Hulkenberg was surely expected to be the man spearheading its charge.

With teammate Jolyon Palmer severely underperforming, Hulkenberg did exactly that, bringing home all but 14 of the team’s points in the final standings. However, consistency was never something he truly found.

Many of Renault’s issues were down to reliability issues, sidelining Hulkenberg for six races – four coming in a five-race stint from Singapore to Mexico – yet he only scored points in consecutive races on three occasions.

When Hulkenberg and Renault were on form, they proved to be a potent combination, often topping the midfield fight and even looking faster than Force India come the end of the season. His run to sixth at the final race in Abu Dhabi was crucial for the constructors’ championship as Renault jumped Toro Rosso, securing an extra slice of prize money in the process.

But for a driver who was so often tipped as being a future star in F1, Hulkenberg still has a lot to prove. Renault is set to offer a good platform for the German moving forward with factory support, yet if he cannot beat new teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. through 2018, concerns will surely be raised.

Season High: Charging to sixth in Abu Dhabi despite a penalty.

Season Low: A tough run to 16th in Malaysia.