Jeff Gordon leaves Fox and becomes number 2 at Hendrick Motorsports


CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) – Jeff Gordon will leave the Fox Sports booth to take on a day-to-day role at Hendrick Motorsports as vice chairman and second-rate team official to majority owner Rick Hendrick.

With the announcement on Wednesday, the four-time Champion and Hall of Famer will one day succeed 71-year-old Hendrick at the helm of the most successful NASCAR organization.

Gordon will officially take over the management role in early 2022.

“Jeff and I have talked about this for many years and I think it’s a natural evolution for him and our company,” said Hendrick. “He understands our culture, our values ​​and the importance we attach to our employees and our partnerships. I couldn’t be more energetic to work arm-in-arm with him and consolidate the future of Hendrick Motorsports together. “

Gordon joined Hendrick Motorsports for the final Cup race of the 1992 season and launched one of the greatest careers in NASCAR history. He won 93 races – third on the all-time list – and four cup titles before retiring in 2015.

He joined the Fox Sports booth the next year but retained an active role on the team as Hendricks only partner in the 13-time championship organization. Gordon became a stockholder at Hendrick in 1999 and was listed as a co-owner of the No. 48 car when it was created in 2001 for seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson.

“I can’t put into words what Hendrick Motorsports means to me,” said Gordon. “It’s my home and the people here are my family. I have never lost my passion for organization, for our sport and for the sheer challenge of driving at the highest level and winning. “

Gordon was also actively involved in getting Kyle Larson into the Hendrick organization that year after Larson banned NASCAR for almost an entire season for racial abuse during a virtual race. Larson has been on the winning track in four consecutive Cup races and leads the Cup series with four wins on points. Hendrick drivers have won six races in a row, dating back to the Dover victory of Alex Bowman on May 16, who took over # 48 this season after Johnson’s move to IndyCar.

“I’ve always been impressed by his business instincts. In a way, he’s been part of every major decision we’ve made over the past two decades, and his influence has grown since he left, ”said Hendrick, who is also CEO of Hendrick Automotive Group, of Gordon.

As vice chairman and co-owner, Gordon will work with the team on a daily basis, focusing on the organization’s competitive and marketing groups. He will report to Rick Hendrick and will work with President Marshall Carlson and General Manager Jeff Andrews.

Gordon will also join Hendrick on NASCAR’s Team Owner Council and take Hendrick Motorsports’ seat on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee of the Sanctions Board.

“Being part of the competition is where I am happiest and where I feel I can make the greatest contribution to the continued, long-term success of the team,” said Gordon. “Rick and I share a vision based on the values ​​he taught, the culture he built and our desire to be the best in all categories, on and off the track.”

Hendrick Motorsports is the first team in NASCAR to release its long-term succession plan. The group that owns the Top Cup teams is not young: Roger Penske is 84, Joe Gibbs 80, Jack Roush 79 and Richard Childress 75.

Hendrick will be 72 years old in July; Gordon will be 50 years old in August.

“I love racing and competition, and Jeff is the only person I know who hates losing as much as I do,” said Hendrick. “I feel great physically and have no plans to go anywhere anytime soon, so this is the right time.”

Hendrick overtook Petty Enterprises as the most victorious team in NASCAR history last month when Larson took the 269th Cup win for HMS. Since then, he has won two more points races, increasing the total to 271 victories.

Gordon will continue to work as a Fox broadcaster through the end of the year.

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Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.




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