NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Pit Note # 9
First-Time Winners - David Pearson, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte, Matt Kenseth, and Casey Mears all won their first NASCAR Cup races at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May. Pearson's win came in 1961; Gordon won in 1994; Labonte won in 1996; Kenseth won in 2000; and Mears won in 2007.
Pearson, Gordon, Labonte and Kenseth all have something else in common. Within five years or fewer, each won a Cup championship after winning a Coca-Cola 600 - Pearson in '66; Gordon in '96; Labonte in '99; and Kenseth in 2003. Mears, who was driving the No. 5 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports when he won, now is driving the No. 07 Jack Daniels Chevrolet for car owner Richard Childress. Mears needs to win a title to keep the trend going. Pearson went on to become the second winningest driver in NASCAR's history. Gordon is closing in on becoming the third-winningest.
"I may not have won a title yet," says Mears, "but I'll bet none of those other four ever have had an uncle (Rick Mears) who's won four Indy 500s, either."
Rookie Joey Logano, driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota, will be one of those seeking his first Sprint Cup victory in the 50th Coca-Cola 600 on May 25 here at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
"It would be nice for my first Cup win to come here in the Coca-Cola 600, right in our backyard," says Logano, who drives for Joe Gibbs Racing. "And then go on to win a championship. That's what this is all about - winning races and winning championships. I know that's all I'm interested in doing."