It was a day that loomed on the horizon, yet no one truly believed it until official word came down.
Thursday morning, Hendrick Motorsports and driver Jeff Gordon announced that 2015 will be Gordon’s final full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
With four championships in the sport’s top-level, the California native is a legend; over 22 seasons, he and HMS owner Rick Hendrick have built a remarkable dynasty and partnership. The current generation of NASCAR fans relate Gordon with the words ‘respect,’ ‘drive,’ and ‘genuine,’ which are all accurate descriptions.
However, now that he won’t be on track every weekend, things feel a bit out-of-place.
“I don’t foresee a day when I’ll ever step away from racing,” Gordon said in the organization’s release. “I’m a fan of all forms of motor sports, but particularly NASCAR. We have a tremendous product, and I’m passionate about the business and its future success.”
Away from the track, the driver is known for his approachability and philanthropy. “The work we’re doing with the Jeff Gordon’s Children’s Foundation will continue to be extremely important to me. Outside the race car, my passion is pediatric cancer research, and my efforts will remain focused there when I’m no longer driving.”
A shoe-in for a spot in NASCAR’s Hall of Fame, Gordon has acquired 92 victories, ranking him third all-time. In 2014, he won his fifth Brickyard 400, the most in NASCAR competition. He is also a three-time winner of the Daytona 500.
It is unknown what he’ll do after 2015, yet that’s how it should remain. In the meantime, all eyes will be focused on a legend’s final ride.