Gordon at Phoenix in November 2015.
|Born:||Jeffery Michael Gordon|
August 4, 1971
|Awards:||4x NASCAR Champion|
1991 Busch Series
Rookie of the Year
3x Sprint Cup All-Star Race winner
1993 Rookie of the Year
|NASCAR Sprint Cup Series statistics|
|Best Pts Finish:||1st (1995, 1997, 1998, 2001)|
|First race:||1992 Hooters 500 (Atlanta)|
|Last race:||2016 Federated Auto Parts 400 (Richmond)|
|First Win||1994 Coca-Cola 600 (Charlotte)|
|NASCAR Xfinity Series statistics|
|Best Pts Finish:||4th (1992)|
|First Race:||1990 AC-Delco 200|
|First Win||1992 Atlanta 300|
|Xfinity Career:||1990-1992, 1999-2000|
Jeffery Michael "Jeff" Gordon (born August 4, 1971) is a semi-retired American professional stock car racing driver and current racing analyst for Fox NASCAR. He was born in Vallejo, California, raised in Pittsboro, Indiana, and currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is a four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, three-time Daytona 500 winner. Gordon along with Rick Hendrick, is a co-owner of the #48 Lowe's sponsored team, driven by Jimmie Johnson, who won the 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2013 Sprint Cup series championships. Gordon also has an equity stake in his own #24 team. He also became the first driver to reach $100 Million in winnings for the Cup series in 2009.
Early career Edit
Gordon began racing at the age of five, racing quarter midgets. The Roy Hayer Memorial Race Track (Previously the Cracker Jack Track) in Rio Linda, California is noted as the first track Gordon ever competed on. By the age of six Gordon had won 35 main events and set five track records. By the age of 13, Gordon took an interest in the 650 horsepower (480 kW) sprint cars. Gordon and his family had to overcome an insurance hurdle. The minimum age for driving the sprint cars was 16. His persistence paid off with an all Florida speed weeks. Supporting his career choice, Gordon's family moved from Vallejo, California to Pittsboro, Indiana, where there were more opportunities for younger racers. Before the age of 18, Gordon had already won three short-track races and was awarded USAC Midget Car Racing Rookie of the Year in 1989. That season was highlighted by winning Night Before the 500 midget car race on the day before the Indianapolis 500. In 1990, Gordon won his second consecutive Night Before the 500, the Hut Hundred, and the Belleville Midget Nationals on his way to winning the USAC national Midget title. In 1991, Gordon into the USAC Silver Crown, and at the age of 20 became the youngest driver to win the season championship. He also won the 4 Crown Nationals midget car race that season. In his midget car career between 1989 and 1992, he finished in the Top 3 in 22 of 40 USAC midget car events. And he remembered, "the car is heavy"!
Busch Series CareerEdit
In 1991 and 1992, Gordon went on to the Busch Series driving for Bill Davis Racing. In his first year as a Busch driver he won rookie of the year. In 1992, Gordon set a NASCAR record by capturing 11 poles in one season. His time with Bill Davis racing introduced Gordon to Ray Evernham as his crew chief. He was sponsored by Carolina Ford Dealers in 1991 and Baby Ruth in 1992. Coincidentally, Gordon's first NASCAR Winston Cup Series race, the 1992 Hooters 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, was also the final race for Richard Petty. He went on to finish 31st, crashing after 164 laps of competition.
Cup Series CareerEdit
In 1993, Gordon raced his first full season in Winston Cup (now the Sprint Cup) for Hendrick Motorsports, in which he won a Daytona 500 qualifying race, the Rookie of the Year award, and finished 14th in points. Ray Evernham was placed as Jeff Gordon's first crew chief. Gordon's success in the sport reshaped the paradigm and eventually gave younger drivers an opportunity to compete in NASCAR. However, during the 1993 season, many doubted Gordon's ability to compete at such a level at such a young age because of his tendency to push the cars too hard and crash.
In 1994, Gordon collected his first career victory at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in the Coca Cola 600, NASCAR's longest and most demanding race. Additionally, Gordon scored a popular hometown victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the inaugural Brickyard 400, passing Ernie Irvan for the lead late in the race when Irvan cut down a tire. Gordon finished eighth in the Winston Cup point standings for the '94 season, as Earnhardt grabbed the driving championship for his 7th and final time.
1995 saw Gordon win his first NASCAR Winston Cup Championship. He won it by battling 7-time and defending champ, Dale Earnhardt into the final race of the season. Many see this as a symbolic passing of the torch, as Gordon collected his first championship the year after Earnhardt won his seventh and final championship. Earnhardt won his first championship in 1980, the year after Richard Petty won his seventh and final championship. Gordon finished the season with eight poles, and seven victories, winning at Rockingham in the second race of the season, Atlanta, Bristol (starting a streak of four consecutive wins in the spring event), Daytona (in the Pepsi 400), New Hampshire, Darlington (Starting a streak of four consecutive wins in the Southern 500 event), and Dover. The team's consistency was much better as well, having 3 DNF's in 1995, compared to 21 in his previous two seasons combined.
Gordon got off to a rocky start in 1996, but rebounded to win ten races, the series high. The 24 team collected wins at Richmond, Darlington (winning both the spring event and the Southern 500), Bristol, Dover (winning both events of the season), Pocono, Talladega, Martinsville, and North Wilkesboro (winning the final event ever at the track). This would start a three year streak of winning double digit races. He finished 2nd to teammate Terry Labonte for the championship, losing by 37 points.
Jeff Gordon won his first Daytona 500 in 1997, becoming the youngest driver in history to win the race. He won the second race of the season at Rockingham the following week. Later in the season he also won the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte and had a chance to become the first man since Bill Elliott in 1985 to win the "Winston Million." Gordon completed the feat by holding off a determined Jeff Burton in the final laps of the Southern 500 at Darlington. While Elliott failed to win the Winston Cup in 1985, Jeff Gordon claimed his second Winston Cup championship in 1997, completing one of the most impressive single-season performances in NASCAR history. He finished the season with 10 victories (Daytona, Rockingham, Bristol, Martinsville, Charlotte, Pocono, California, Watkins Glen, Darlington, and New Hampshire) for the second straight season. His victory at California was in the track's inaugural race, and his victory at Watkins Glen began a streak of seven consecutive road course victories.
In 1998 Gordon successfully defended his victories in the Coca-Cola 600 and the Southern 500, winning a record four consecutive Southern 500s in the process. Gordon also won his second Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis. According to most NASCAR drivers the race at Indianapolis has become second in prestige only to the Daytona 500. Gordon finished the 1998 season with a victory in the season finale at Atlanta. This was his 13th victory of the season and tied Richard Petty's modern era record of 13 wins in a single season. He finished 1998 with 13 wins, 7 poles, 26 top fives, and 28 top tens.
In 1999, Gordon along with crew chief Evernham formed Gordon/Evernham Motorsports. Though short lived, the race team enjoyed success. The co-owned team received a full sponsorship from Pepsi and ran six races with Gordon as driver and Ray Evernham as crew chief in the NASCAR Busch Series. GEM only survived one year as Evernham was pulled away by Dodge, ending one of the most dominant driver/crew-chief combinations in Nascar history. Jeff Gordon extended his Busch experiment one more year, through 2000 as co-owner, with Rick Hendrick buying Evernham's half. After the departure of Evernham (who left Hendrick Motorsports to begin his own team, Evernham Motorsports, reintroducing Dodge into the series), the race team was renamed JG Motorsports. While winning six times in 1999, Gordon's season was a major disappointment, finishing 6th in the series standings. Brian Whitesell was named the interim crew-chief for remainder of the season after Evernham's departure in September. Whitesell scored back to back victories in his first two races.
2000 saw Gordon enter his first campaign with Robbie Loomis as crew-chief. Loomis had been with Petty Enterprises for years prior. The team struggled as the rebuilding process went on. Gordon scored his first victory of 2000 at Talladega in the spring event, winning his 50th career victory in the series. He went on to win at Infineon Raceway and Richmond. Gordon finished the season 9th in points.
Many people questioned Gordon's ability to win championships without longtime crew chief, Ray Evernham, especially after Gordon struggled to a 9th place points finish in 2000, winning only three races. Gordon answered those challenges in 2001 by winning 6 races (including a third Brickyard 400 win, and the inaugural event at Kansas Speedway) en route to his 4th Winston Cup championship. Jeff Gordon became the third driver to win four Cup championships in NASCAR history only second to Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt (7 times). The 24 car's paint scheme was changed for the first time this season, abandoning the 'Rainbow Warrior' scheme in favor of a flames-themed car. Both paint schemes were designed by Sam Bass.
Gordon entered the 2002 season as defending champion, but the year was far from perfect. In addition (or perhaps because of), Gordon's divorce proceedings with wife Brooke affected his on track performance. A strong showing in the Daytona 500 was ruined when Sterling Marlin sent Gordon spinning in the infield grass with a handful of laps remaining, while leading the race. Gordon had won his 125 qualifier, but finished ninth in the Daytona 500 after the contact with Marlin. It was announced to the media during the spring event at Darlington that Gordon's then-wife, Brooke, was filing for divorce. Many think that the addition of the 48 team with Jimmie Johnson as driver in 2002, also took away from Gordon's season as the 24 team helped to build the 48 team. Gordon did not win until the Sharpie 500 night race at Bristol in August, his first victory in the night race at Bristol. He followed that up with a fifth victory in the Southern 500 at Darlington a week later. Gordon won for the third and final time in 2002 at Kansas Speedway, his second consecutive at the track. The 24 team finished the season 4th in points.
In 2003, Jeff Gordon returned with Robbie Loomis for a third season together. Gordon won early in April, winning Martinsville, and winning Atlanta and Martinsville again in the fall. He finished the year 4th in the NASCAR standings, with 3 wins, 15 Top-5 finishes, and 20 Top-10 finishes. Gordon also was in second in rank to Matt Kenseth for the championship early in the season. In June, Gordon went to Indianapolis Motor Speedway to take part in a test with then-F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya. The two switched rides, with Gordon driving an F1 car for the first time. Montoya would eventually join the NASCAR Cup series in 2007.
2004 was a huge rebound for the team. Gordon won the Brickyard 400 in August 2004, obtaining his 4th Indy win (1994, 1998, 2001, 2004). He is the only NASCAR driver with four Brickyard 400 victories at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and one of only five drivers to have four victories at the historic track. Prior to this victory, Gordon won at Talladega (ending the DEI dominance on restrictor plate tracks), and followed that up with a victory the following weekend at California. He also won at Infineon Raceway, and followed that up with a victory the following weekend in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona, his second consecutive restrictor plate win. He finished 3rd in the 2004 NEXTEL Cup points standing behind Kurt Busch and teammate Jimmie Johnson even though he scored the most total points throughout the whole season, a consequence of the new Chase system implemented in 2004. While the Hendrick Motorsports team enjoyed success with Johnson and Gordon finished 2nd and 3rd in the points, the team suffered a major off-track tragedy. On October 24, during the race weekend at Martinsville, a Hendrick Motorsports plane carrying engine builder Randy Dorton, team President John Hendrick (Rick Hendrick's brother), Vice President Jeff Turner, Ricky Hendrick (Rick Hendrick's 24 year old son) and more crashed on its way to the track. Everyone on board were killed. The team was clearly affected by this, but continued with impressive performances.
Gordon started the 2005 season with a win in the Daytona 500, his third win in the event. Inconsistency would plague him throughout the year, however. A late season (notably top 10s at Indy and Bristol) run put him in position to qualify for the Chase, but in the last race before the Chase at Richmond, Gordon made contact with the wall and failed to qualify for the chase. Despite this disappointment, on October 23 Gordon won the Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway, his first win in 22 points races, and his 7th career victory at the Martinsville track. He went on to finish 11th in the Championship and received a $1,000,000 bonus as the top driver finishing outside the Chase. It was Gordon's first time outside the top 10 in the point standings since 1993.
On September 14, 2005 Crew Chief Robbie Loomis resigned from the #24 team. Loomis stayed on with Hendrick Motorsports as a consultant for Jimmie Johnson's #48 team through the Chase for The NEXTEL Cup in 2005. Steve Letarte, Gordon's car chief for most of the '05 season and long time member of the 24 crew, replaced Loomis as crew chief effective at New Hampshire International Speedway on September 18, 2005.
Gordon won his ninth road race, the 2006 Dodge/Save Mart 350, at the Infineon Raceway - his first win of the season and fifth at Infineon. The day before the race, he announced his engagement to Belgian model Ingrid Vandebosch.
On June 29, 2006, Gordon announced that he would participate in the Rolex 24 endurance sports car event at Daytona International Speedway, teaming up with SunTrust Racing drivers Max Angelelli and Wayne Taylor, who won the 2005 Rolex 24 race. His team went on to finish third, despite problems, two laps behind the winning team of Juan Pablo Montoya, Scott Pruett, and Salvador Durán. On July 9, 2006, Gordon won his first race at the Chicagoland Speedway at the running of the USG Sheetrock 400 (this was also the first win for Hendrick Motorsports at this track).
Gordon made the "Chase for the NEXTEL Cup" with his improvements on the intermediate 1.5/2-mile downforce racetracks from 2005. His consistency in the latter portions of 2006 made him competitive week-in and week-out, eventually finishing 6th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Standings.
Jeff Gordon attended the awards ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City for his top-10 finish in the NEXTEL Cup Standings. While there he collected a check for his 2006 winnings of $7,471,447 which brings his career winnings total to $82,838,526.
Gordon started the 2007 Cup season off by winning his Gatorade Duel qualifying race. Due to a rear shock bolt breaking during the race on his car, he failed the post-race inspection which found that the rear of his car was too low and, as a result, had to start 42nd in the 2007 Daytona 500. He went on to finish 10th in the race despite being involved in a crash during a spectacular last-lap finish.
On March 23, 2007, Gordon won his 58th career pole for the 2007 Food City 500 at Bristol, the first race for the Car of Tomorrow. He went on to a 3rd place in the race, which gave him the points lead for the first time since the 2005 Daytona 500. At Texas Motor Speedway, Gordon started on the pole because qualifying was rained out. He led the most laps before brushing the wall coming out of turn 4 and finishing 4th.. On April 19, 2007 at Phoenix International Raceway, Gordon won the pole, and tied Darrell Waltrip's modern day record of 59 career poles. Two days later, at the Subway Fresh Fit 500, he won for the first time at PIR, ending also a streak of 21 races of non-pole winners at the track. With the win, he also tied Dale Earnhardt for 6th all time in overall number of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup series wins (second in the modern era). After winning the race, he held a black flag with the number 3 to honor the late Dale Earnhardt.
On April 28, 2007, Gordon earned the pole at Talladega Superspeedway, his 60th career pole (and third consecutive in 2007), passing Darrell Waltrip's record of 59 to become the modern era pole leader. One day later, he passed Earnhardt for sole position of sixth on the all time wins list with 77 by winning the Aaron's 499.
In the 2007 Coca-Cola 600, Gordon crashed after contact with Tony Raines and AJ Allmendinger on lap 61 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, only Template:Convert into the race, ending his streak of completing every lap during the season. Gordon finished 41st.
On June 11, 2007, Gordon earned his 4th win of the year and 79th of his career in a rain shortened race at Pocono Raceway. Six days later, he scored a ninth place finish at the Citizens Bank 400 at Michigan International Speedway, the 300th top-ten finish of his career. On September 8, 2007, Gordon earned a place in the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup. With his four wins in the first 26 races, he earned the second seed (teammate Jimmie Johnson earned the top seed with six wins) in the chase.
On October 7, 2007, Gordon led only the final lap in winning the UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway for his 80th career victory, using a strategy of staying near the end of the field until nearly the end of the race to avoid the inevitable "big one", especially with the unknowns involved in racing the Car of Tomorrow. With the win, he swept the 2007 season races at Talladega, and won his 12th race at a restrictor plate track (Daytona and Talladega), making him the all-time leader for restrictor plate wins.
On October 13, 2007, Gordon led 71 laps and, although fuel was a question near the end of the race, he was able to finish the race and earned his 81st career victory in the Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Finishing fourth in the 2007 Ford 400, Gordon finished the 2007 Chase for the Nextel Cup 2nd in the standings to Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson, trailing by 77. However, Gordon's top-ten finish at Homestead left him with a total of 30 top-ten finishes for the season, setting a new modern era Cup Series record. This was the second time that Gordon lost a championship because of the Chase points system. As with 2004, he recorded the most points over the entire season, but lost the title because of the ten race championship system. Gordon has been the only driver to lose the title because of the Chase more than once.
Gordon finished fourth in the Budweiser Shootout and finished third in the Gatorade Duel qualifying race. He started the 50th annual Daytona 500 from the eighth position and led eight laps, some under caution, but on lap 159 suffered suspension failure and finished in 39th position.
Jeff Gordon wrecked with 5 laps to go at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS), claiming that it was one of the hardest wrecks he's ever had, and leading him to call for safety improvements on the inside walls of LVMS and other similar tracks. The wreck has had drivers and owners from all around NASCAR now concerned with the lack of a SAFER barrier on the inside walls at tracks and the design of the wall where it allows access for emergency vehicles. Greg Biffle went as far to say that the wreck should be taken as seriously as the one that took Dale Earnhardt's life in 2001. Other drivers who have publicly supported Gordon's call for safety improvements included Jeff Burton, Tony Stewart, Robby Gordon, and Kurt Busch.
Gordon collected his 65th career pole for the Goody's Cool Orange 500 on March 28, 2008 at Martinsville Speedway. Gordon went on to finish second in the race after being caught up in a crash caused by Aric Almirola and coming back from the tail end of the field. Gordon led 90 laps in the race.
Gordon finished 3rd in the Dodge Challenger 500 making that his 4th straight top 3 finish in that particular event.
Gordon scored a 3rd at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 making this finish his 4th top 3 finish in the last 8 events at Sonoma.
Gordon was caught up in an accident with David Reutimann in the Amp Energy 500 after Reutimann's rear tire exploded and he spun out into Gordon. Gordon criticized Goodyear for tire quality during his interview. He finished 35th, while Reutimann continued to race, until his engine expired.
Gordon finished 7th in the 2008 Chase for the Sprint Cup, 368 points out of first place. He finished winless for the first time since 1993. This was also the final season the team ran the flames paint scheme that was introduced in 2001. In 2009, the 24 car would unveil its third 'regular' paint scheme. The new scheme was not much different than the previous flames design, but the color blue was replaced with black. This was the first time in Gordon's career that his primary paint scheme did not feature the color blue.
Gordon started off the 2009 season by drawing the 28th and final position of the Budweiser Shootout. Gordon finished 4th at the Shootout, the same finish he had in 2008 after getting through three wrecks, including a last lap crash. He held off Tony Stewart to win his 5th Gatorade Duel. It was his first win in forty-one races. As a result of the win Gordon started 3rd in the Daytona 500 and, after overcoming a tire issue late in the race, finished 13th.
Gordon led 17 laps in the Shelby 427 but cut a tire coming into the pits and as a result he finished 6th, despite having a shredded fender. Gordon took his first points lead since 2007.
Gordon finished 4th in the Food City 500 to collect his third top five of the season and extended his point lead to 77 points.
Gordon ended his 47 race winless streak, winning the Samsung 500 for his 82nd career victory and his first at Texas Motor Speedway. With the win, Gordon has won at every track that currently hosts a Cup race except Homestead-Miami Speedway. He held off teammate Jimmie Johnson for the win and extended his points lead to 162 points. Gordon also led 105 of the 334 laps, earning him 10 bonus points.
Gordon scored a 5th place in the Southern 500; despite a loose wheel in the beginning of the race. It was Gordon's 5th straight top 5 finish at the track. He extended his point lead to 31 points over Tony Stewart. Gordon scored second place finishes behind teammate Mark Martin, in both the June LifeLock 400 at Michigan and the July LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. Because Martin and Gordon finished 1-2 in both races, LifeLock will pay a $1 million bonus to a Colorado family.
Gordon qualified for the 2009 Chase by virtue of his second place standing in the points following the Chevy Rock & Roll 400. Reseeding dropped him to sixth in the points.
Gordon scored two consecutive second place finishes at the Kansas Speedway and the Auto Club Speedway. He finished second to Tony Stewart and teammate Jimmie Johnson in those races and sits 3rd in points behind by 112 points. (After Texas).He was behind 169 points after Phoenix.He finished 3rd in points giving Hendrick Motorsports the first team ever to finish 1-2-3 in the points. He finished behind teammate Mark Martin and Jimmie Johnson Johnson became the first driver to win four straight titles, but under the new Chase points system. Gordon's four came under the season long points standings. Had this system still been in place, instead of the Chase, Gordon's Cup total would be at six championships, as he scored the most season long points in both 2004, and 2007.
Gordon started off the season slow, starting with a 26th place finish at Daytona and a 19th place finish at Auto Club Speedway. However, at Las Vegas, Gordon dominated, leading 219 of the race's 267 laps. Unfortunately, Gordon's crew chief made a bad call on the last pit stop, arguably costing Gordon the win. Gordon finished 18th at the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta. Gordon was leading with 2 laps to go at Martinsville in the spring, but a bump from Matt Kenseth and a charge from Denny Hamlin relegated the No. 24 DuPont team to a 3rd place finish. Gordon scored a runner-up finish in the Subway Fresh Fit 600 to eventual winner Ryan Newman. Gordon led 124 laps at Texas, but was involved in a multi-car wreck late in the race. Gordon went on to lead 4 laps at Talladega but was caught up in a wreck with Jeff Burton near the end of the race and dropped him down to a 22nd place finish. Gordon was leading on the final restart of the Crown Royal Presents the Heath Calhoun 400, but was passed by the winner of the race, Kyle Busch. This was Gordon's eighth second place finish since his last win came at Texas a year ago. At the Southern 500 at Darlington, Gordon led a race-high 110 laps, but was shuffled back to the end of the lead lap as a result of being on pit road when a caution came out. He eventually worked his way up in the last 20 laps to finish fourth. In Dover, Gordon finished 11th after he was a top 15 car all day in a 400 lap event. Gordon recorded a 6th place finish at Charlotte, after opting for track position over pitting with 20 laps to go. Gordon did not have a very fast car, but managed to hold on to a top-10 finish. Gordon made his 600th career NASCAR Sprint Cup start in the 2010 Lifelock.com 400 on July 10, 2010 at the Chicagoland Speedway and finished 3rd. Gordon cut a right front tire late at the Carfax 400 at Michigan, resulting in a 27th place finish, but remained 2nd in the points standings. Gordon finished 13th at the Emory Healthcare 500 in Atlanta, and remained 2nd in the points standings. The Chase started well for Gordon. He finished 6th at Loudon. after struggling at Dover, he finished 5th at Kansas, and 9th at Fontana. He earned his first pole of the season at Charlotte and he was the pick to win the race, but unfortunately, he had battery issues and he was caught speeding on pit road finished a disappointing 23rd place finish. At Martinsville, he got wrecked by rival Kurt Busch, ending his championship hopes. At Texas, he was running well, until an incident occurred between him and Jeff Burton. Gordon wrecked under caution, and he was very upset with Burton, causing them to have a shove and a physical fight. He would finish 37th. In the Ford 400, he started 11th and finished 37th, due to an engine failure. He went winless again, and it would be the third time in his career he went winless (also in 1993 and 2008).
Gordon started the 2011 season in Daytona driving the No. 24 "Drive to End Hunger" Chevrolet Impala, plus new crew chief Alan Gustafson. He started the race in the 2nd position but after an unfortunate multi-car accident, finished the race in 28th, right behind teammate Jimmie Johnson. The following week at Phoenix, Jeff started 17th. He dominated the race, leading 138 of the 312 laps. With eight laps to go, Jeff came up beside Kyle Busch, Gordon got loose and slid up and into Busch. Gordon drove away to a half-second lead. He held off Busch in the remaining 7 laps to win. It was Jeff's first win since Texas in April 2009, and his 2nd win in the previous 3 seasons. But the momentum wouldn't last long. He ran inside the top 5 at Las Vegas, but blew a tire and hit the wall and finished 36th with his first DNF of 2011. He struggled at Bristol and Fontana, finishing outside the top 10 in both. At Martinsville, he led a few laps and finished 5th, his first top 10 since his Phoenix win. He ran out of fuel with a lap to go at Texas while running inside the top 10, finishing 23rd. Gordon won his 70th pole at Talladega, breaking a 3rd-place tie with Cale Yarborough for most poles. At Talladega he 2-car drafted with Mark Martin almost the entire race. He led a few laps at the beginning of the race, but then purposely fell outside the top 30 to avoid any trouble. With about 10 to go, Gordon and Martin started their charge to the front, taking the lead at the white flag. Then, while side-by-side with Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick, coming through the tri-oval, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. squeezed to their inside. Jr. rubbed fenders with Martin, killing his and Gordon's momentum. Gordon finished third, in a 3-wide photo-finish won by Johnson over Bowyer by 0.002 seconds. The following week at Richmond, Gordon stayed in the top 3 all night long, and looked to be a serious contender for the win. But battling back in the pack from a 4-tire call, Matt Kenseth squeezed up on Clint Bowyer and turned Jeff into an inside wall opening. He finished 39th and had his second DNF of the season. The following week at Darlington, Gordon was consistently running in the top 5, a green-white-checkered moved him from 6th to a 12th-place finish. After Darlington, Gordon was 17th points, but due to the new Wild-Card in the Chase, he would be in the Chase due to his Phoenix win. Jeff finished outside the top 10 at Dover and Charlotte. He had a top-5 run going at Charlotte, but being caught a lap down late relegated him to a 20th-place finish. Kansas, the following week. Gordon finished 4th behind some fuel-strategy winners. Coming off a great run at Kansas, Gordon and the #24 team looked to continue the success at Pocono. After starting third, Gordon never lost sight of the leaders, staying in the top 3 all day. With 41 to go, Gordon beat Kurt Busch off pit road, but restarted second to Juan Pablo Montoya, who took 2 tires. Jeff quickly assumed the lead on the restart. After a round of green-flag pit stops, Jeff passed Landon Cassill, for the lead and never looked back. He had his 2nd win of the year, 84th career win, tying him 3rd all-time with Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Allison, and his fifth win at Pocono, tying him with Bill Elliott for all-time wins at the racetrack. Following his Pocono win, Jeff again struggled with his 1.5–2 mile tracks, finishing 17th at Michigan. Everyone had high expectations for Gordon at Infineon. But the entire race showed Gordon mired back in the 22nd position. But a call from Gustafson put Jeff 7th with about 20 to go. Gordon muscled his way through the field, avoiding and staying ahead of wrecks. He grabbed second coming to the white flag, and ran out of time to catch leader Kurt Busch. The second place finish put Gordon in 9th place in the standings.
The Coke Zero 400 at Daytona weekend started out well for Gordon, starting 4th. His drafting buddy Mark Martin started on pole, and chose the outside line at the start, and that quickly put him and Gordon out front. Jeff and Mark approached this race the same as Talladega, as they hung out at the back for the entire race. A green flag run of about 100 laps caused the Hendrick duos to be many seconds behind the leader. Gordon and Martin charged to the front and caught the leaders with 3 to go. But a bunched up field in turn 3 caused Gordon to slide up and into Kyle Busch and spin. A save by Gordon minimized his damage. He restarted 18th behind Kyle Busch. With Gordon pushing, Kyle moved by most of the field before a final last-turn, last-lap wreck took out top contenders. Gordon finished 6th and complimented Kyle on his ability to make moves through the pack. The 6th-place finish put Gordon in 8th place in points.
The next week marked the first-ever Sprint Cup Series race held at the Kentucky Speedway. Gordon was fast in the practice sessions, and when qualifying was rained out, but would start 14th. However, the handling of the 24 DuPont Chevrolet was not to Gordon's liking. At one point, he said that Kentucky was "one of the most frustrating places I've ever driven." For much of the race, Gordon ran in the mid 20s, even falling one lap down to then race leader, and eventual winner, Kyle Busch. After a caution for debris came out, Crew Chief Alan Gustafson opted to not pit and take the wave around to make up the lost lap. A late caution, pit strategy, and a bit of luck enabled Gordon to pit and run inside the top 10 for the final 50 laps. He would salvage a tenth-place finish, moving him up to 7th place in the points.
At Loudon, he led 19 laps but had electric issues. He worked his way up to fourth, but cut a tire on the last lap and was forced to settle for eleventh. Two weeks later at Indianapolis, Gordon led 36 laps but lost to Paul Menard's fuel strategy. He finished a very close second. At the next race at Pocono, Gordon would finish 6th. He placed 13th at Watkins Glen International a week later. At Michigan, he led 50 laps, but finished sixth after simply losing the car late. He led a race-high 206 laps at Bristol the next week, and finished third to Martin Truex, Jr. and Brad Keselowski.
The following Sunday race at Atlanta was delayed due to rain, and was moved to Tuesday, due to a tropical storm (Lee) on the track on Monday. In that race Jeff Gordon led the majority of the laps at the beginning of the race. However, with tightness and tire issues as well as cautions and a red flag being thrown out due to rain, he was placed in a tough situation as far as the race strategy. The race continued and Jeff marched his way up to the lead once again. His car gradually became loose, and he eventually lost the lead to Matt Kenseth as well as several more positions. But several more cautions enabled Jeff to complete adjustments and furthermore take better care of his tires, in fear of wearing them out early. He charged back up to the leader Jimmie Johnson and passed him, but as the race led to 10–15 laps to go, Jeff was starting to become loose again in the long run. This allowed Jimmie Johnson to catch Jeff and pass him once, but Jimmie was loose too, enabling Jeff to reclaim the lead. Both drivers battled side-by-side and battled looseness issues. Coming to the white flag, Jimmie was excessively loose off turn 4 behind him, allowing Jeff some breathing room. Jeff held off Jimmie for the final lap and took his 3rd victory of the season as well as his 85th career win, placing 3rd on the all-time win list, behind Richard Petty and David Pearson, beating Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip. He then moved up to 5th in points.
At Richmond (September 10, 2011), Jeff Gordon had a poor qualifying run of 17th at the Wonderful Pistachios 400. He had a fast car at the beginning, but suddenly the car experienced tightness issues and he dropped back to the 20's in position. He missed an opportunity to pit and make some adjustments under caution, due to communication errors between him and his crew chief. However, coming to 250 laps, the caution between his teammate Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch gave him a chance to pit and make such adjustments, and eventually he climbed back up to the front and took the lead. He led the field in for service under the caution on Lap 384. He came out of the pits second and had a bad restart, but shot back with a finish of 3rd at Richmond, with Kevin Harvick winning the race, and Carl Edwards in second. Jeff Gordon commented on how it was interesting that Paul Menard, a Richard Childress teammate of Harvick's, caused the caution by just spinning into the grass.
Gordon's summer hot streak made him a top pick for the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup. He was seeded 3rd for the chase, because of his 3 wins.
Gordon's Chase started off with a disappointing 23rd Qualifying effort at Chicagoland Speedway. He would run near that position all day, going even a lap down during the midpoint of the race. He started his climb late i the race, before fuel milage came into play. He made it to 17th when he ran out of gas with 2 laps to go and finished 24th, making a deep hole to climb out of early in the Chase.
The second race in the Chase, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, looked to be a rebound race for Gordon, as he ran well in the spring race. He started out the good weekend qualifying 7th, and looked fast in practice. Gordon started the race and quickly clawed his way to the front, grabbing the lead at lap 164. He opened gaps of 4+ seconds on the field, and was clearly the car to beat. But, while trying to stretch fuel for the last pit stop, Jeff ran out of gas under green coming to pit road, and took a long time getting re-fired, erasing his 9 second lead. What made matters worse, there was a problem during the exchange of fuel cans and they didnt get enough fuel in the car as they would've liked. He charged back up to 3rd, but then got word of the fuel mishap, he fell to 6th. While conserving in 7th, leaders started to pit for fuel. Hamlin, Kahne, and Bowyer run out of fuel. Greg Biffle also ran out of fuel, but beat Jeff by inches for 3rd. Gordon's 4th place finish boosted him to 5th in points. A great rebound from Chicagoland.
Dover International Speedway, the third race in the Chase, going in, was going to be a questionable weekend for the 24 team, as they struggled in the spring race. Finishing practice sessions in the top 5 showed promise for the race. But, a 34th starting position quickly changed the mood in the 24 camp. The day looked up for the 24 team after moving through the field quickly. Gordon stayed most of the day near 10th position. A very uneventful day for the 24 team ended with a solid 12th place finish. But, most of the chasers ran in the top 5, but some ran in the back 20s. Gordon gained points on the Championship leader, but fell to ninth in points, 19 points behind. A very reasonable margin.
Kansas Speedway looked like the best track for Gordon in the Chase. The past 5 attempts at Kansas being top 5's, and an average finish of 8th (best among chasers), backed up the mood of the team. He qualified a decent 10th, after finishing the practice sessions in the top 5 and 10. The race started very well for Gordon, moving into the top 5 in a matter of about 25 laps. Gordon had a top 3 car all day long, Jimmie Johnson only being faster, as the leader. Gordon's pit stops were flawless all day, gaining many spots, besides the handfuls that took 2 tires. On a restart with 45 laps to go, Gordon restarted fifth behind Ku Busch, Harvick, Johnson and Keselowski, with Tony Stewart behind him, in seventh. When the green dropped, Stewart dove below Gordon into turn 1 and moved him up the track. The contact quickly threw Gordon from 5th to 17th. While in the back, Gordon reported seeing smoke inside the car. While, the car looked to be slow, Gordon inched up to 14th, before the engine let go with 2 to go. Gordon dropped to 34th, and with most of the Chase contenders having good days, put him 10th in points, 47 behind the leaders. The point margin was a very difficult hole for Gordon to climb out of, especially at a track that would possibly be his best shot at a win.
The next week at Martinsville Speedway Jeff looked strong, and led a handful of laps throughout the race. He finished Third after avoiding a few last lap mistakes by front runners, he finished behind Johnson and Stewart. He ended the season finishing 5th at Homestead.
In the Budweiser Shootout, Gordon flipped his car on the penultimate lap. According to Jeff, this was the first time that he ever flipped a race car.
During the 2012 Daytona 500, his engine overheated and blew on lap 82, leaving him out of the race. He rebounded with an 8th place finish the following week at Phoenix.
So far, Jeff has been in contension to win in almost every race in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season, but late race troubles have knocked him out of contention. A good example of this would be the FedX 400 at Dover Speedway in June, but he found luck by getting the win at the Pocano 500 in August, and is a chase contender for the wild-card. He is now in contention. After getting 2nd place in the last few races. Managed to escape the biggest multi-car wreck at Talladega since 2005. He finished 10th in points
With the new Generation 6 car coming into play, Jeff Gordon began Pre-season Thunder excited about proving to his fans that he still has what it takes. In the testing, he proved that he had a fast car and would be able to contend for the Daytona 500 victory. After a great run in qualifying, Jeff would start next to Danica Patrick in the Daytona 500. There, Gordon led some laps and wound up with a good finish. At the Coke 600, Jeff Gordon was involved in a wreck with multiple drivers that almost sent him over the wall and into the grandstands. Gordon would comment later that he would like to see the cars go slower and for the barriers to be higher up. Next week at Dover, Gordon would do much better and finish in the third position. Gordon would continue to have both success and defeat at the following races. This made him thirteenth in the points once Richmond hit. To ensure Jeff got a spot in The Chase, he would have to finish ahead of Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, and Martin Truex, Jr. After everything was settled, Jeff was given a 13th spot in The Chase. He would have a strong finish at Chicagoland.
Gordon began 2014 in a much better way than most seasons and seems to be on his way to ending it on a good note as well. Gordon has captured four wins this season (Kansas, Michigan, Indianapolis and Dover) and has qualified for the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, which is under a new format.
On January 22, 2015, Gordon announced that 2015 would be his last season as a full-time driver, but did not rule out retirement entirely. On January 29, Gordon stated he does not plan to run any more Daytona 500s after 2015. He started the season by winning the pole for his final Daytona 500, but crashed on the final lap, finishing 33rd. Gordon won two additional poles by sweeping the Talladega races. In November, Gordon claimed his first win of 2015, winning his ninth career Martinsville race in the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500, advancing him to the Championship Four at Homestead. In what was thought to be the final race of his Sprint Cup career at the 2015 Ford EcoBoost 400, Gordon finished 6th, falling just short of his quest for the fifth championship of his career.
In July 2016, it was announced that Gordon, having finished his commitments as a broadcaster for the 2016 season, would return as a substitute driver for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in the #88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet SS. This would mark the first time Gordon would drive a car other then the 24. He made his return at Indianapolis, finishing 13th. He also drove the car at Pocono. With Earnhardt still on the shelf with concussion-like symptoms, Gordon made his 800th start on August 7, 2016 at Watkins Glen, becoming the ninth driver to start 800 races.
Gordon has also participated in some off-road events, including a winning drive with Team USA at the 2002 Race of Champions. He was slated to run it again in 2004 against Formula One Champion Michael Schumacher but was sidelined by the flu, and Casey Mears took his place. In 2005, Gordon competed in the Race of Champions event again, this time held in Paris, France, where he was partnered with famed motocross racer/X Games winner Travis Pastrana. In 2007, Gordon competed in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona for the first time. He raced the #10 Pontiac for Wayne Taylor racing. His teammates consisted of: Max Angelelli, Jan Magnussen, and Wayne Taylor. The team placed third in Gordon's first ever Rolex 24.
Sponsorship and Paint Edit
Jeff Gordon and his team have carried the nickname "The Rainbow Warriors" throughout the years. Jeff has always carried DuPont as a sponsor. From 1993 to 2000, Gordon carried a rainbow scheme that got the team their nickname. Throughout the years, Gordon has sometimes carried different paint, such as Jurassic Park, Star Wars, and Snoopy. In 1997, Gordon signed a long-term contract with Pepsi that is still in place today. Every year Gordon has driven a car with the Pepsi scheme. In 2001, Gordon debuted a new scheme designed by NASCAR artist Sam Bass, which keeps a blue base but changes the rainbow pattern to flames. In 2006, Gordon acquired a new sponsor, Nicorette. In 2007, Gordon increased his partnership with Nicorette, and ran the paint scheme in 4 races. At Talladega in 2007, Gordon had a fan design contest. The design got a real treat, as Gordon won the race. Since 2007, Gordon has had the same design with different colors. (e.g Nicorette scheme, green and yellow flames) Gordon will occasionally run a scheme that will support a different type of DuPont paint such as Cromax Pro.
Gordon announced that the primary scheme of the DuPont #24 Chevrolet will change for 2009 & beyond on the QVC show For Race Fans Only. The 2009 scheme keeps the flames format but the colors have radically changed to red and orange flames on a black base color. The new 2009 DuPont paint scheme was unveiled on NBC's Today show. In 2009, National Guard signed a contract with Gordon, replacing Nicorette. National Guard is set to be the primary sponsor on Gordon's car for 6-8 races per season. Occasionally, a one-race sponsor steps in to sponsor Gordon's car for one race. For example, Gordon ran a Megatron scheme at Charlotte in the Fall of 2009 to promote the movie Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen that was soon to come out on DVD.
Hendrick Motorsports owner, Rick Hendrick, said in November 2009 that he is working on signing a contract extension with DuPont, Gordon's primary sponsor since the beginning of his career. DuPont's current contract with Jeff Gordon expires at the end of 2010, and Hendrick said he wants it to be Gordon's primary sponsor for the rest of his career.
NASCAR Drug TestingEdit
Gordon has announced that he supports the new drug policy implemented by NASCAR on September 20, 2008. Other drivers who support the new random drug test policy, which started before the 09 season include Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson, and Kasey Kahne.
Gordon's parents are Carol Ann Bickford (née Houston) and William Grinnell Gordon of Vacaville, California. He has an older sister, Kim.
Gordon met first wife Brooke Sealey after he won a Busch race. Sealey was then a college student and had been present as "Miss Winston" in the victory lane in 1992. The pair began dating in secret, due to a rule that didn't allow drivers to date Miss Winston, and were married in 1994. In 2003, Gordon's divorce from Sealey became tabloid fodder. In court papers, she asked for "exclusive use of the couple's oceanfront home, valued at $9 million, as well as alimony, two cars and periodic use of their boats and an airplane."
Gordon was introduced to Ingrid Vandebosch by a mutual friend in 2002, but they didn't begin dating until 2004. Jeff announced their engagement on June 24, 2006, at a croquet event at Meadowood Resort in St. Helena, California. According to Gordon, they had kept the engagement secret for the following 30 days. Gordon and Vandebosch were married in a small, private ceremony in Mexico on Nov. 7, 2006. On June 20, 2007, Vandebosch gave birth to their first child, Ella Sofia Gordon in New York City.  On February 4, 2010, Gordon revealed that he and his wife are expecting their second child in August, and on March 16, 2010, he revealed that the baby is a boy.
Gordon owns a private jet, a British Aerospace BAE-125-800, also known as a Hawker 800, with a tail number on this jet matching his car number, N24JG and also owns a Lazzara 106 yacht called the 24 Karat. 
In 1999, Jeff Gordon established The Jeff Gordon Foundation to help support children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses. In 2007, Jeff Gordon along with Andre Agassi, Muhammad Ali, Lance Armstrong, Warrick Dunn, Mia Hamm, Tony Hawk, Andrea Jaeger, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Mario Lemieux, Alonzo Mourning, and Cal Ripken, Jr. founded Athletes for Hope, a charitable organization which helps professional athletes get involved in charitable causes and inspires millions of non-athletes to volunteer and support the community..
Gordon is a Christian. He has talked about how in the early nineties he got curious and followed some drivers to the weekly chapel one week, which is how he first started to learn more about God.
In popular media Edit
Gordon occasionally appears on television shows. He has co-hosted Live with Regis and Kelly ten times on days when Regis Philbin was unavailable. In January 2003, Gordon became the first NASCAR driver to host NBC's Saturday Night Live. In 2005, he played himself in Herbie Fully Loaded. In 2009 he voiced a character on the animated series Speed Racer/Next Generation.
- ↑ http://www.speedtv.com/articles/auto/grandam/27817/
- ↑ http://www.grand-am.com/Events/SessionResults.asp?SessionID=803
- ↑ "Goody's Cool Orange lap-by-lap".
- ↑ "Modern Era Pole Winners".
- ↑ "Modern Era Race Winners".
- ↑ "Charlotte Lap-by-Lap".
- ↑ "Charlotte Nascar results".
- ↑ Gordon Wins UAW-500 at Talladega
- ↑ Crash has Gordon wanting safety upgrades at LVMS
- ↑ Impact of Gordon's crash may be felt beyond LVMS
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Drivers concerned about safety at some racetracks
- ↑ Gordon takes Atlanta pole, Earnhardt to start second
- ↑ 
- ↑ Jeff Gordon finds pole at one of his least successful tracks
- ↑ Gordon gets first victory at Texas to end winless skid
- ↑ 2009 Unofficial Driver Standings: Samsung 500
- ↑ Martin prevails in frantic finish at Chicagoland speedway
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 18.2 "Jeff Gordon sponsors".
- ↑ "Jeff Gordon Engagement".
- ↑ ""Gordon-Vandenbosch Engagement"".
- ↑ "Jeff Gordon and Wife Welcome Baby Girl".
- ↑ "It's a Girl for NASCAR Champ Jeff Gordon - Birth, Jeff Gordon : People.com".
- ↑ http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20341639,00.html
- ↑ http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20352031,00.html
- ↑ Jeff's Personal Jet
- ↑ Yachting Magazine - The NASCAR Yacht Club
- ↑ Athletes for Hope
- ↑ http://www.gnextinc.com/nascar/pr/j_gordon_boys_scout_030609.html]
- ↑ Interview on Breakaway tv
- ↑ Interview with Larry King
- ↑ 2001 Interview on Belief.net
- ↑ Hopeway.org
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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