Jeff Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports have worked together since the racer once known as “ wonder boy” joined the NASCAR Cup Series with a single race at Atlanta in 1992. The Vallejo, California native, now 49, who moved to Pittsboro, Indiana to secure the efficacy of his motorsports career, was a Ford contract driver in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series when Rick Hendrick came calling, he became a Chevrolet driver and retained that distinction for his complete NASCAR Cup Series driving career, which culminated with four championships, 93 victories and first-round membership in NASCAR’s Hall of Fame.
Gordon, who has most recently entertained and educated viewers with his talents behind a FOX Sports microphone, is taking on an even more impressive job in motorsports: he’s been named vice chairman of Hendrick Motorsports, making him the second-ranking team official to his non-family mentor, chairman and majority owner Rick Hendrick.
Starting on January 1, 2022, Gordon will maintain a daily presence at Hendrick Motorsports’ Concord, North Carolina headquarters, focusing on the organization’s competition and marketing groups. Gordon will work alongside Hendrick Motorsports’ president Marshall Carlson and general manager Jeff Andrews, joining Rick Hendrick on NASCAR’s team owner council and assuming the team’s seat on the sanctioning body’s diversity, equity and inclusion committee, the team announced.
“I cannot put into words what Hendrick Motorsports means to me,” Gordon attested. “In many ways, it’s my home and the people here are my family. I’ve never lost my passion for the organization, for our sport and for the sheer challenge of racing and winning at the highest level. Being part of the competition is where I’m happiest and feel I can make the biggest contribution to the continued, long-term success of the team. Rick and I,” he said, “have a shared vision, which is based on the values he’s instilled, the culture he’s built and our desire to be the very best in all categories, on and off the track.”
Gordon is Hendrick’s sole and only partner in the 13-time NASCAR Cup Series championship-winning organization, after becoming an equity owner of Hendrick Motorsports in October of 1999. He has been part-owner of the No. 48 Chevrolet in Hendrick’s arsenal, even while racing against his own driver, seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champ Jimmie Johnson. Gordon stepped away from full-time Cup Series driving activities at the close of the 2015 season.
“Jeff and I have talked about this for many years,” said Hendrick, who is also chairman and CEO of Hendrick Automotive Group, “and I feel it’s a natural evolution for him and our company. I’ve always been impressed with his business instincts. On some level, he’s been involved in every major decision we’ve made over the last two decades, and his influence has continued to grow since he stopped driving. He understands our culture, our values and the importance we place on our people and our partnerships.
“I love racing and competing,” Hendrick, 71, continued, “and Jeff is the only person I know who hates to lose as much as I do. I feel great physically and have no plans to go anywhere anytime soon, which is exactly why it’s the right time. In the years to come, I couldn’t be more energized about working arm-in-arm with him and cementing the future of Hendrick Motorsports together.”
After stepping away from full-time NASCAR Cup Series driving activities – Gordon did earn victory in the 2017 IMSA Rolex 24 at Daytona with Wayne Taylor Racing’s Cadillac DPi V.R – Gordon joined FOX Sports as an analyst in 2016. He’s been a mainstay of its NASCAR Cup Series race broadcasts and other programming. Gordon will step away from these duties at the close of the 2021 calendar year.
“I cannot thank the entire FOX Sports family enough for the incredible opportunity I’ve had over the past six seasons,” Gordon stated. “I’ve come to truly appreciate the responsibility of bringing the sport to our fans and the tremendous work that goes into our broadcasts each and every week. I’m certainly going to miss it, but I will forever be grateful to FOX for the experience and for the trust they’ve placed in me. It’s been a privilege to work with such a talented group of people, Gordon concluded.
Hendrick Motorsports is on a roll in this 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, with team newcomer Kyle Larson earning four straight victories in late spring and catapulting to second in points, just 10 behind Denny Hamlin. He’s followed by teammates William Byron (-81) and Chase Elliott (-94) in the regular season standings. Hendrick Motorsports is second in team standings, lagging Joe Gibbs Racing by ten points.