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Gordon Hopes to Contribute to NASCAR's Next 50

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CONCORD — The roots of racing go back to the dirt track at Martinsville and the beach at Daytona. Many in the sport today have links to NASCAR's early years. Jeff Gordon, who grew up racing sprint cars in California, does not.

Gordon believes some people resent the fact he doesn't know more about the history of the sport. He understands. Gordon wishes he knew more about it too.

Gordon does know about the growth of stock car racing, especially in the area of prize money.

"It wasn't that long ago that the champion's check was $1,500 dollars," Gordon recalls. "And last year I got two million something."

Where once you could find empty seats at the track, Gordon now races to nothing but full houses. And his appearances draw very long lines.

Gordon says that's a good problem to have. He just hopes it stays that way.

Having raced in just six of NASCAR's first 50 years, Gordon has made just a small impact on racing's past. But 30 wins would suggest he'll play a big part in its future.