Business and motorsport
Jeffery Michael Gordon (born August 4, 1971) is an American former professional stock car racing driver, currently an announcer for Fox NASCAR, and a top executive for Hendrick Motorsports. He raced full-time from 1993 to 2015, driving the No. 24 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports in the former NASCAR Winston Cup Series and Sprint Cup Series (now called NASCAR Cup Series), and also served as a substitute driver for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports in select races during the 2016 season. He is regarded as one of the most influential drivers in NASCAR history, helping the sport reach mainstream popularity.
Gordon started his professional racing career in the Busch Series with Hugh Connerty Racing, followed by Bill Davis Racing, winning three races, and began racing full-time in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series for Hendrick Motorsports in 1993. He is a four-time Cup Series champion, having won the title in 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2001. He was the youngest driver to win a NASCAR title, being 24 years old by the end of the 1995 season. He also won the Daytona 500 three times in 1997, 1999, and 2005. Gordon has completed three career Grand Slams and has won a total of sixteen Crown Jewel races (three Daytona 500s, four Talladega 500s, three Coca-Cola 600s, and six Southern 500s), both of which are all-time records.
He is third on the all-time Cup wins list with 93 career wins, while having the record for the most wins in NASCAR's modern era (1972–present) and the most wins in one modern era season, with 13 during the 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Gordon's 81 pole positions led all active drivers and is third all-time, and also a modern era record; Gordon won at least one pole in 23 consecutive seasons, making this a NASCAR record. Other records include the most restrictor plate track wins with 12 and the most road course wins with 9, and he was the active "iron man" leader for consecutive races participated in with 797 through the 2015 season.
In 1998, NASCAR named Gordon to its 50 Greatest Drivers list. Ten years later in a 2008 article, ESPN's Terry Blount ranked him 10th in the 25 Greatest Drivers of All-Time. Foxsports.com named him as the fifth best NASCAR driver of all time. He was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2019. As of 2016, Gordon was considered the highest-paid NASCAR driver ever and the 18th highest-paid athlete of all-time with $515 million in career earnings, per Forbes.
Gordon, along with Rick Hendrick, co-owns the No. 48 Chevrolet previously driven by Jimmie Johnson, who won seven Cup championships from 2006 to 2010, 2013, and in 2016. Gordon also has an equity stake in the No. 24 team. Gordon also owned a Busch Series team between 1999 and 2000, Gordon/Evernham Motorsports (co-owned with Ray Evernham; later solely owned as JG Motorsports), winning twice.
- Jeff Gordon at the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America
- Garner 2016, p. 16.
- "Jeff Gordon Class of 2019 Inductee". NASCAR Hall of Fame.
- "The records that helped put Jeff Gordon in the NASCAR Hall of Fame". Axalta.
- "Sprint Cup Series All-Time Starts". Jayski's Silly Season Site. Archived from the original on February 10, 2017. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
- Blount, Terry (May 23, 2008). "The Kid, The King, the Silver Fox and two of open-wheel racing's very best". ESPN. Retrieved October 4, 2013.
- "Ranking the 20 greatest NASCAR drivers of all time". Foxsports.com. February 22, 2012. Archived from the original on March 22, 2014. Retrieved September 23, 2013.
- "The highest-paid athletes of all-time". Forbes.
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