Jeff Gordon is undeniably one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR Cup Series history. The four-time champion won an impressive 93 races before retiring from full-time racing in 2015.
In retirement, he worked as an analyst for Fox’s NASCAR coverage before quitting after last season to focus on his full-time job as vice president at Hendrick Motorsports, preparing for his role leading the company once Mr. H decides to call him.
But this week, the NASCAR Hall of Famer surprised the racing world by announcing he was coming out of retirement to return for a race in September and be reunited with a familiar face.
Jeff Gordon and his Hall of Fame career
When Jeff Gordon made his Cup Series debut in 1993, no one could have imagined the success he would achieve. In 2016, after executing a part-time schedule, he hung up his helmet for one last time with staggering numbers under his belt, including four titles and 93 wins.
Among those victories, the HMS driver captured many crown jewels, including three Daytona 500s, five Brickyard 400s, six Southern 500s and three Coca-Cola 600s.
Upon retirement, he moved to Fox’s broadcast booth and worked as an analyst through the 2021 season, before stepping away to work full-time at HMS.
Gordon will run with IMSA in September
Jeff Gordon has been on the race tracks all season cheering on his HMS drivers. His presence was notable last weekend at Watkins Glen when he and Hendrick listened to an upset Chase Elliott air his grievances after the race for a late restart where teammate Kyle Larson passed him and cost him the win. .
The 51-year-old will not be available to consult with his drivers the first weekend in September when they compete at Darlington. That’s because he announced this week that he will reunite with former crew chief Ray Evernham in the September 2-4 IMSA Porsche Carrera Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and be among 30 drivers to Porsche 911 GT3 cars competing on the 14 corner, 2,439 mile road course.
“I look forward to getting back in a race car and competing against a talented group of teams and drivers,” Gordon said in a track release. “It’s always special when I get the chance to race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Ray and I have always talked about running another race together, and we felt like Indy was the perfect place. It will be a fun way to spend the holiday weekend and create new memories.
For those who think Gordon won’t be competitive, think again. He raced in 2017 and won the Rolex 24 at Daytona, becoming one of only four drivers to win both the Daytona 500 and the Daytona 24 Hour race.
Talked about going back to the past
While the news of Gordon’s return came as a surprise to many, in April he hinted at a possible comeback during an appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
“As far as competition goes, I don’t know,” Gordon said. “This Le Mans program promises to be interesting. I’ll probably do some simulator work for them. My last race was the 24 Hours of Daytona. I love this event. We had good success winning it with Wayne Taylor Racing and with Cadillac.
“And so this program is something that would be exciting to go to Le Mans. I want to be part of it. We’re part of it with Hendrick, but I just don’t know if I’ll be able to get behind the wheel and drive it in this race. I’m definitely going to play with the car when we get it. Play with the simulator and see if it’s something that is possibly realistic.
Now that he is entering the IMSA race, competing at Le Mans seems like a more realistic possibility. Could there even be a possible return to a NASCAR race like Dale Earnhardt Jr. has managed in recent years? Inquiring minds want to know.
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