Jeff Gordon is now just 3 top-10 finishes from tying Mark Martin for second on all-time list

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Jeff Gordon can be referred to as a number of things:

* A four-time Sprint Cup champion.

* Third on the all-time Sprint Cup wins list with 92, the most recent being this past Sunday at Dover International Speedway.

* NASCAR’s reigning Ironman with 754 consecutive starts over 22 full-time seasons.

And that last item leads us into perhaps one of the most interesting statistics of Gordon’s long and storied career, according to a newly-released statistic update from NASCAR.

His Dover win gave Gordon his 450th top-10 finish, moving him into third on the all-time list, just three top-10s behind second-ranked Mark Martin (453) and a distant 262 behind NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty’s 712 career top-10s.

Not only that, Gordon leads the entire Sprint Cup Series with 19 top-10 finishes in 29 starts thus far in 2014.

He also has 317 top-five finishes.

While Gordon has won at least once on every Sprint Cup track (including three times at this weekend’s venue, Kansas Speedway), here’s an interesting irony:

Gordon has earned 76 pole positions in his career, but has failed to do so at four different tracks: Kansas, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Kentucky Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Yet another irony: all four of those tracks are 1.5-mile facilities. Seventeen of Gordon’s 92 career wins have come on 1.5-milers.

Go figure.

I guess while it’s a neat thing to start a race in first, it’s obviously better to finish a race in first, as well.

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