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CHARLOTTE ­— Jeff Gordon's winning No. 24 car from the 1994 Coca-Cola 600 sits on the NASCAR Hall of Fame's "Glory Road," a reminder of the four-time champion's first victory.

That his initial win occurred 20 years ago this month amazed Gordon, 42, who is still running strong two decades later as the current Sprint Cup Series points leader.

But a morning to reflect on his accomplishments — including a video that recapped the '94 race and a framed collage of some of his five wins at Charlotte Motor Speedway — didn't necessarily make Gordon think about when he'll quit driving.

ADVICE: Former crew chief has recipe for Gordon's success

"The same criteria have always been there — healthy, competitive and enjoying what I'm doing," he said. "Right now, I'm enjoying it as much as I ever have, so I'm not really thinking about what the next step is."

Gordon still considers himself a "kid" even though he realizes he's not, and acknowledged thinking for several years about what the future holds beyond racing.

"But I'm not sitting there picking a day where I can say, 'This is it' — whether it's this year, next year, the year after that," he said.

WATCH: Gordon remembers first NASCAR Cup win

Every time he thinks he's getting closer to retirement, Gordon added, something happens to push the date further away. The thoughts grew stronger five or six years ago when he dealt with severe back pain.

"I was thinking this was probably coming to an end," he said. "I just was in pain in the car and I wasn't winning as much. You start to think, 'Is this a sign? Maybe I need to think about something else or the next step.'

"Then I started working on my back and I've gotten it so much better now. I'm not getting through the races pain-free, but it's a lot better. And we're competitive."

BY THE NUMBERS: Jeff Gordon's career statistics

STANDINGS: Sprint Cup points leaders through Talladega

Although he has yet to visit victory lane this season, Gordon said he's focused on winning races — he ranks third on the all-time list with 88 — and another championship, to add to the ones he won in 1995, 1997, 1998 and 2001. It's important not only for his team to taste victory, he said, but for his wife, Ingrid Vandebosch, and two young children — Ella, 6 and Leo, 3 — to share in the experience.

Since his four titles came when Winston was sponsoring the Cup Series, Gordon said he doesn't think of himself as a Sprint Cup Series champion. And it's not just the trophy, he said; Sprint represents the Chase playoff format, which Gordon has not won.

So despite having the points lead, Gordon said he knows it's important to turn good runs into wins.

"It's the least important season I've ever seen to be leading the points," he said. "It doesn't mean anything compared to previous years. … It's the beginning of what could be one of the best years we've ever had, but we have to follow it up with wins."​

Follow Gluck on Twitter @jeff_gluck

PHOTOS: Jeff Gordon through the years

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