Jeff Gordon at Phoenix International Raceway
En español | If NASCAR fans didn't already know about Jeff Gordon's Drive to End Hunger, they do now. Gordon's No. 24 car — splashed with logos touting Gordon's crusade to wipe out hunger among older Americans — led for 105 laps and crossed the finish line first at the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday.
Gordon's victory at NASCAR's second race of the 2011 season broke his personal 66-race winless drought.
The NASCAR champ has joined AARP and AARP Foundation in the Drive to End Hunger campaign. The campaign supported a local food drive at Phoenix's St. Mary's Food Bank held last Thursday, but on race day many Twitter followers pledged to donate $1 for every NASCAR point Gordon earned in the race — he got 48 — or $100 for the win.
The race was so touch-and-go that Gordon's No. 24 needed help from a teammate car to "draft" debris off his radiator grill that was causing his engine to overheat. He also pulled a nifty move on one of his competitors to retake the lead in the final laps. In his first post-victory interview, Gordon thanked his supporters: "I've been tweeting lately and to see all of the support from my followers it is just great motivation!"
Up next: the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Las Vegas on March 6.
If you missed the food drive or the Twitter challenge, you can still donate directly to the Drive to End Hunger.