It wasn't long after Jeff Gordon won his fourth NASCAR Winston Cup title that the question was asked: Now that Gordon has won four titles by the age of 30, can he win four more to become the first eight-time Winston Cup champion?
Unless something dramatic happens to Gordon, it appears certain that the Hendrick Motorsports driver will achieve that goal by the end of his career.
What makes four more titles so important is it would surpass Richard Petty and the late Dale Earnhardt, the two drivers who share the NASCAR record of seven Winston Cup championships.
"My goal in life's not to get seven or eight championships," Gordon says. "My goals constantly change, and I want to continue to be competitive and successful in this business and that is not always going to mean that you are winning the championship. I want to give this team everything that I can, and I want to see them getting everything out of themselves that they can and be proud of what they have accomplished and having fun.
"As hectic as life is and this business is, we have to try to enjoy it and have fun. To me, that overrides whether or not we accomplish eight championships or seven championships."
As Gordon continues to become the dominant driver of his era, part of his charm is his "aw shucks" humility. It would be easy for Gordon to point to his tremendous accomplishments as a driver, but he is just as amazed as anybody else at what he has accomplished in a Winston Cup career that began with the final race of the 1992 season.
That is why he genuinely believes winning four more titles is a tremendous obstacle, while others believe it's only a matter of time.
"I have no idea if I can get four more because I wasn't expecting to get the fourth," Gordon says. "Last season was somewhat of a surprise. It was a great year. I think we knew we were going to have a much better year than we had in 2000, but I don't think we had any idea we were going to be coming out and doing what we have done.
"Anything is possible, but it has taken an awful lot to get four. I know it has happened quick in your minds, but to me it's been a lot of hard work and dedication to get that. If we stay committed and we continue to have the resources, I hope I have that same drive to do it."
To those who have to compete against Gordon nearly every week, they understand why he is the best driver in NASCAR. And at least one living legend believes Gordon will win four more titles and become the sport's first eight-time Winston Cup champion.
"It's just how long he wants to do it," Richard Petty says. "If he wants to go for eight championships, then he can probably get them. But he started so early you wonder when he will get burned out on all of this. He's the only one that is even close to being able to do it right now with his youth and the team he has around him. It's very, very possible he can win four more as far as that is concerned."
Benny Parsons won the 1973 NASCAR Winston Cup championship when the season title was based on miles completed. Since that time, the point structure has been changed to reward consistency.
Parsons raced against Petty when he was the dominant driver in the 1970s, and competed against Earnhardt in the '80s. He also saw Earnhardt's greatness continue in the '90s when Parsons was a television analyst for ESPN and ABC Sports.
Now, as a member of NBC Sports, Parsons can appreciate the greatness that Gordon has displayed at such an early age.
"There is no doubt that he can rewrite most of the records except the 200 wins," Parsons says, referring to Petty's 200 career victories. "Obviously, I don't think he is going to achieve that, but most of the other records, he should be able to.