A four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and current vice-chairman at Hendrick Motorsports, Jeff Gordon is someone who has seen the sport from all possible angles. Having been behind the wheel during his days as a driver and being involved in broadcasting with FOX Sports to holding a crucial position in one of the sport's top-most teams, Gordon has a wealth of knowledge unlike any other personality in NASCAR.
The now 51-year-old was often seen juggling his duties at Hendrick Motorsports and FOX Sports before he joined the Charlotte, North Carolina-based racing outfit full-time last year. No longer spending his time broadcasting, Jeff Gordon plans to continue in NASCAR with Rick Hendrick and his team from on top of the pit box for one of the four drivers, especially for the upcoming 2023 Daytona 500.
Speaking to Jeff Gluck from The Athletic, Gordon elaborated on what changed his mind about getting into the competitive side of the sport once again. He spoke about how he appreciated racing once he was no longer a part of the action, saying:
"Every year that would go by, especially as I got closer to the end of my driving career, I started paying attention more and more. When I started to do TV and stepped away from driving, I started realizing how much I love racing. And while the TV side of it was fun, after about two years of it, I realized I love the competition. I love the marketing and the PR and interacting with NASCAR and the other team owners. I started seeing the role I could play in adding the experience I’ve had because of the different perspectives."
Coming off of earlier apprehensions about how he would fit into a role at Hendrick Motorsports, Jeff Gordon was pleasantly surprised when his time away from the competition urged him to get back even more.
Jeff Gordon elaborates on the feeling of one of his drivers winning
Having been behind the wheel of a stock car for so many years, Jeff Gordon was new to being on the sidelines when a driver from his team managed to visit Victory Lane. However, the former champion explained the emotions from on top of the pit box in such a scenario and said:
"Well, it’s different. But you may have seen some of the things from Phoenix (after Larson won the championship). I didn’t think I could get that emotionally involved or attached to it. When you go through that, it ties you closer to the effort and it gets you emotionally involved. So now I see a little bit of that with each one of our guys."
Gordon elaborated on how being involved with the drivers at Hendrick Motorsports and their journeys in the Cup Series along with other members of the team brings a certain emotional attachment to it. It is safe to say that Jeff Gordon, who was once a racer, is still a racer at heart!