4-time champion Jeff Gordon reveals what keeps him motivated to continue in NASCAR
A four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and current vice president of Hendrick Motorsports, Jeff Gordon is someone who has seen the sport from every possible angle. Having been behind the wheel during his days as a driver and involved in broadcasting with FOX Sports to occupying a crucial position on one of the sport’s top teams, Gordon has a wealth of knowledge unlike any other NASCAR personality.
The 51-year-old was often seen juggling duties at Hendrick Motorsports and FOX Sports before joining the Charlotte, North Carolina-based racing team full-time last year. No longer spending his time broadcasting, Jeff Gordon plans to continue in NASCAR with Rick Hendrick and his top pit crew for one of four drivers, specifically for the upcoming 2023 Daytona 500.
Speaking to The Athletic’s Jeff Gluck, Gordon explained what made him change his mind about getting into the competitive side of the sport again. He explained how much he enjoyed racing once he was out of the action, saying:
“With each passing year, especially as I got closer to the end of my racing career, I started to pay more and more attention. When I started doing television and I got away from driving I started to realize how much I love racing and while the TV side was fun, after about two years I realized I love racing. and public relations and interacting with NASCAR and other team owners. I started to see the role that I could play in adding the experience that I had because of the different perspectives.”
After earlier apprehensions about how he would fit into a role at Hendrick Motorsports, Jeff Gordon was pleasantly surprised when his absence from competition prompted him to come back even more.
Jeff Gordon develops the feeling of one of his winning pilots
After being behind the wheel of a production car for so many years, Jeff Gordon was on the sidelines again when a driver from his team managed to visit Victory Lane. However, the former champion explained the emotions from the top of the stand in such a scenario and said:
“Well, that’s different. But you might have seen some of the things from Phoenix (after Larson won the championship). I didn’t think I could get emotionally involved or attached to it. When you get through that, it binds you closer to the effort and it engages you emotionally, so now I see that a little bit with each of our guys.
Gordon explained how being involved with Hendrick Motorsports drivers and their journeys in the Cup Series with other team members brings a certain emotional attachment. It’s safe to say that Jeff Gordon, who was once a runner, is still a runner at heart!
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