CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jeff Gordon won 93 races as a NASCAR Cup driver, which culminated in four series championships. All of those wins came with Hendrick Motorsports.
Since the Hall of Famer’s retirement from full-time racing in 2015, he has been in the broadcast booth as a driver analyst for FOX Sports’ coverage of NASCAR alongside Mike Joy and the addition of Clint Bowyer this year.
Six years removed from competitive driving, Gordon has gotten the call to “come home” as he will be leaving the press box and entering the boardroom of the HMS headquarters in Charlotte.
“I’m excited. It’s been in discussion for a long time between Rick and myself,” Gordon said at a press event at Pocono Raceway over the weekend. “My presence has been there but now it gets ramped up to a whole other level.”
Since his retirement, Gordon has had a small ownership stake in Hendrick Motorsports. He said it’s always been in the cards for him to come back in a leadership role of some sort.
“You have to understand that I’ve been a part of this since 1999,” he said. “I’ve been behind the scenes, understanding and learning the business side of it. Gradually, overtime, obviously my focus was on driving throughout all those years. But as I started getting closer to stepping away in 2015 from the driving role, my interest level in the business side, the culture that Rick has created and how he’s done that and how it impacts things far beyond just what I was doing as a driver, was interesting to me.”
Gordon, who was born in California but grew up racing go-karts and midgets in Indiana, will take up the role of vice-chairman of Hendrick Motorsports, making him the second-highest-ranking person on the team and virtually placing him as owner Rick Hendrick’s successor for when he decides to step aside.
“I feel like I’m at the place in my life where I’m really, ready for it,” Gordon said. “And most importantly, I’m just fortunate to work side-by-side with a guy that’s shown us all how to do it right for so many years and will continue to do that for a number of years to come.”
Gordon clarified that his decision to leave FOX Sports for the position at Hendrick had nothing to with him wanting to leave the broadcast booth, but rather that it was an opportunity that he could not pass up.
“The health of the sport has to have owners that are looking long-term into the future,” Gordon said. “I feel like this move is exactly that for Hendrick Motorsports.”