Something NASCAR and interesting just came to my attention. No, I don’t follow it much anymore since my injury. It’s too corporate, PC, and, honestly, a far cry from what it used to be – and what made me fall in love with the sport.
In all seriousness, I’m actually kind of sad the man every Earnhardt, Sr. fan called a “whiner” and “cry baby” is retiring. That’s right: Jeff Gordon has decided to retire at the end of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The “Rainbow Warrior” will be no more.
Jeff Gordon has said he’s not going to race full-time because he wants to spend more time with his wife, Ingrid, and children. He also has a bad back, which contributed to his decision. Though, he’s not retiring in the sense that we think retirement. He’s joined FOX NASCAR as an on-air analyst for the 2016 Sprint Cup Series, as well as has plans to do more with his charities.
Jeff Gordon has won four career Cup championships, had 92 points-paying race wins, and 77 pole positions. All for the owner he’s been racing with for 23 years, Rick Hendrick. Jeff is also an equity owner in Hendrick Motorsports, meaning he’ll also still be heavily involved in NASCAR and with the teams.
As for the retirement of the # 24 car, Gordon’s not having it. It will now be helmed by Chase Elliott, the youngest national series champion in NASCAR history.
Ray Evernham, Gordon’s former crew chief who helped him become the driver he is today – they’ve won three championships over seven years, 1992-1999, together – as well as other drivers tweeted their reactions when Jeff made his announcement.
One thing’s for sure, Jeff Gordon clearly has a lot more support than anyone could have imagined (including those of us he practically walked into, head down, not paying attention, at the tracks).
His “retirement” is definitely a surprise, at least to me. I figured it would be Jeff Gordon manning the 24 car well into years beyond his current age of 44.
From this hater to you, Jeff Gordon, I wish you nothing but further success and happiness.
Thanks for the ride, Rainbow Warrior.