Jeff Gordon Biography
Jeff Gordon is an American former professional stock car racing driver, currently an announcer for Fox NASCAR, and a top executive for Hendrick Motorsports. He formerly drove the No. 24 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports in 23 full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series seasons between 1993 and 2015, and served as a substitute driver for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in select races during the 2016 season.
Gordon started his professional racing career in the Busch Series with Hugh Connerty Racing, followed by Bill Davis Racing, winning three races, and began racing full-time in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series for Hendrick Motorsports in 1993.
He is a four-time Winston Cup champion, having won the title in 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2001. Jeff Gordon also won the Daytona 500 three times in 1997, 1999, and 2005. Gordon has completed three career Grand Slams and has won a total of sixteen Crown Jewel races (3 Daytona 500, 4 Talladega 500, 3 Coca-Cola 600 & 6 Southern 500), both are all-time records. Jeff Gordon is third on the all-time Cup wins list with 93 career wins, while holding the record for the most wins in NASCAR’s modern era (1972–present).
Gordon is of Scotch-Irish descent, and was born in Vallejo, California to parents Carol Ann Bickford (née Houston) and William Grinnell Gordon of Vacaville, California. Gordon’s mother and biological father divorced when he was six months old. His stepfather, John Bickford, married his mother in the 1970s. He has a sister, Kim, who is older by four years. His younger cousin, James Bickford, currently competes in the K&N Pro Series West. Gordon attended Tri-West Hendricks High School in Lizton, Indiana and was on the school’s cross country team; he graduated in 1989.
Beginning of racing career
During the 1980s, Gordon and his family had to overcome an insurance hurdle. The minimum age for driving the sprint cars was 16, and his persistence paid off with an all Florida speed weeks. Supporting his career choice, Gordon’s family moved from Vallejo 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, Jeff Gordon met Hugh Connerty, who owned some Hooters restaurants and was also a partner in Outback Steakhouse. Connerty secured some sponsorship for a car through Outback, and they tested for the last few Busch Grand National races left in 1990. Ray Evernham was called in to work with Jeff Gordon in his stock car debut. His first Busch race came on October 20, 1990 at North Carolina Motor Speedway in the AC-Delco 200. Jeff Gordon drove the No. 67 Outback Steakhouse Pontiac for Connerty. Gordon ran the second fastest lap during qualifying and started on the outside of the front row of the field. Gordon would however, get involved in a wreck on lap 33. Jeff Gordon ended up with a 39th-place finish.
In 1992, Roush Racing owner Jack Roush planned to sign Gordon, but Gordon’s stepfather John Bickford had insisted that Roush hire Ray Evernham; due to Roush’s policy of hiring his own crew chiefs, Bickford declined. Later in the year, Rick Hendrick watched Gordon race in a Busch Series event at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and Gordon joined Hendrick Motorsports two days later. Gordon made his Winston Cup debut in the season-ending race, the Hooters 500 at Atlanta, finishing 31st after a crash.
The following year, Gordon began competing full-time in the Winston Cup Series, driving the No. 24 car for Hendrick. Jeff Gordon was originally supposed to race the No. 46, but complications with licensing related to Days of Thunder forced Gordon to the 24. Jeff Gordon opened the season with a win in the Gatorade Twin 125’s race, while also recording his first-career pole position at the fall Charlotte race, and concluded 1993 with a 14th-place points finish and the Rookie of the Year Award.
When Gordon made the decision to step back from full-time driving at the conclusion of the 2015 Sprint Cup Series season, he reportedly put out feelers to television networks about the possibility of joining the broadcast booth. On January 25, 2015, USA Today writer Jeff Gluck reported that Gordon was hired by Fox Sports to work as a guest analyst for Fox NASCAR broadcasts of Xfinity Series events alongside full-time announcers Adam Alexander and Michael Waltrip; the news was officially announced by Fox Sports the following day On February 3, Gordon made a guest appearance on the Fox News Channel morning show Fox & Friends, where he stated his plans to call three races for Fox Sports.
Early in his career, Gordon stated that he was a born again Christian. Jeff Gordon talked about how in the early-1990s he became curious about Christianity and followed some drivers to the weekly chapel one week, which is how he first started to learn more about God. During this time, Gordon kept verses of the Bible taped to his steering wheel.
By 2004, Gordon stated he had “a difficult time focusing on one particular faith.” When asked again about his faith in a 2015 Sports Illustrated magazine interview, Gordon stated: “I wasn’t brought up [with religion]. It was something I got introduced to when I came into the Cup Series. I explored it and learned a lot from that experience. I feel it’s helped make me a better person, but I choose to do it more privately now.”
Marriages and children
Gordon met Brooke Sealey, a Miss Winston Cup model, in victory lane at Daytona International Speedway after he won the first of two qualifying races for the 1993 Daytona 500. The pair began dating in secret due to an unwritten rule prohibiting drivers from dating the models. Sealey’s role as Miss Winston concluded following the 1993 season, and the couple publicly revealed their relationship after the NASCAR awards banquet in December.
Prior to the 1994 Daytona 500, a year to the day from their encounter in victory lane, Gordon reserved a banquet hall at a French restaurant in Daytona Beach, where Gordon proposed to Sealey. The couple were married on November 26, 1994. They owned a home on Lake Norman in North Carolina, but evacuated permanently due to fan intrusions. The couple then moved to Highland Beach, Florida. In March 2002, Sealey sued for divorce after alleging Gordon of marital misconduct, and Gordon eventually counter-sued.
- Full Name: Jeffery Michael Gordon
- Date of Birth: August 4, 1971
- Age: 48
- Birth Place: Vallejo, California
- Height: 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
- Weight: 150 lb (68 kg)
- Career end: 2015
- 2016 position: 38th
- 2000 position: 57th
- Spouse: Ingrid Vandebosch Gordon (m. 2006), Brooke Sealey (m. 1994–2003)
- Net Worth: approx. $200 million
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Reference Net Worth of Jeff Gordon