#24 AARP/Drive to End Hunger: AARP is involved with the primary sponsorship of the #24 Chevy for a total of 14 NASCAR events (12 Cup points races plus the Sprint Unlimited and Duels in Daytona) in 2015. Drive to End Hunger will be the featured sponsorship for eight events. The other six races will feature the AARP Member Advantages program, which is funded by a group of for-profit companies that provide benefits to AARP members and managed by AARP Services, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of AARP. The AARP Member Advantages races will feature a different paint scheme than Drive to End Hunger, which will be announced at a later date.(1-28-2015)
2015 Races [12+2] that Drive to End Hunger / AARP is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Daytona, Sprint Unlimited, 2/14, Drive to End Hunger
Daytona, Budweiser Duel, 2/19, Drive to End Hunger
Daytona - 2/22, Drive to End Hunger
Phoenix - 3/15, Drive to End Hunger
Richmond - 4/25, Drive to End Hunger
Talladega - 5/3, Drive to End Hunger
Charlotte - 5/24, Drive to End Hunger
Sonoma - 6/28, AARP Member Advantages
Kentucky - 7/11, AARP Member Advantages
New Hampshire - 7/19, AARP Member Advantages
Pocono - 8/2, AARP Member Advantages
New Hampshire - 9/27, Drive to End Hunger
Dover - 10/4, AARP Member Advantages
Martinsville - 11/1, AARP Member Advantages
2015 Races  that 3M is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Las Vegas, 3/8
Kansas, 5/9, with American Red Cross
2015 Races  that Axalta Coating Systems is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Auto Club - 3/22
Martinsville - 3/29
Charlotte, All-Star - 5/16
Pocono - 6/7
Daytona - 7/5
Watkins Glen - 8/9
Bristol - 8/22
Chicago - 9/20
Texas - 11/8
Homestead - 11/22
2015 Races  that Pepsi is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Michigan - 8/16
Phoenix - 11/15
2015 Races  that Panasonic Toughbook is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Texas - 4/11
Michigan - 6/14
Jeff Gordon vs. Dale Earnhardt Comparison: Atlanta 1992 - Daytona 2001, 258 races:
Gordon vs. Earnhardt
Wins: 52, 23
Top 5's: 129, 101
Top 10's: 166, 160
Ave Finish: 11.8, 10.8
Championships: 3, 2
Gordon and crew chiefs wins / championships:
Crew chief; Wins; Titles
Ray Evernham; 47; 3
Robbie Loomis; 23; 1
Steve Letarte; 12; 0
Alan Gustafson; 8; 0 (current)
Brian Whitesell; 2; 0
Total; 92, 4
There is only ONE current race track the Sprint Cup Series races on that #24-Jeff Gordon has not won a Sprint Cup race at:
Kentucky 0 for 3 with a best finish of 5th in 2012
Gordon has won at 24 [23 active] of 25 tracks he has raced on including two not on the circuit any longer, North Wilkesboro and Rockingham.(11-17-2013)
There are THREE current race tracks the Sprint Cup Series races on that #24-Jeff Gordon has not won a Sprint Cup pole at:
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Contract Status: Driver: Lifetime/2015 and retires; Primary Sponsors: AARP/Drive to End Hunger 2015; 3M 2017; Axalta 2016; Panasonic 2016, Pepsi 2015
Jeff Gordon gets a special gift from AMS's president Ed Clark.(Harold Hinson Photo)
Gordon receives gifts from Atlanta Motor Speedway: "Jeff you're going to be receiving quite a few things this year, I'm sure, as people pay tribute to you," track president and general manager Ed Clark said. "Atlanta has a special bond with Jeff Gordon. He started here and some of the most memorable moments in Atlanta Motor Speedway have involved Jeff. He's had five wins and celebrated four championships here. He's a real ambassador for the sport and someone we're all real proud to have been able to work with. You're not going anywhere, so this isn't a goodbye, but we have two things we want to present to you." The first was a framed replica of this year's souvenir program featuring Gordon signed by the entire full-time track staff. The big unveiling, literally, was a maroon and yellow bandolero for Gordon's kids, Ella and Leo. "Leo is going to want to sleep in this," Gordon said on inspection. "I have a feeling this might end up in his bedroom for a year or two before he can drive it. But that's awesome. I was watching practice for XFINITY earlier and I saw the 'Thanks 24' out there in the grass. It put a big smile on my face. You're right, it's a very special place to me." Gordon said he'd never forget his first race - or his first driver's meeting at Atlanta. His first race was Richard Petty's last and the King gave all the drivers a money clip with their starting position on it. Which Gordon still has. "I wasn't that proud of (my starting position) at the moment," Gordon said with a chuckle. "I think we started 21st. But I'll remember that forever."(AMS)(2-28-2015)
Gordon talks about not being able to qualify at AMS: #24-Jeff Gordon, who was going for his third consecutive pole [Homestead, Daytona], did not participate in Round 1 Qualifying session due to the inspection mess at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Gordon was among the 13 drivers who did not get a chance to post qualifying times Friday after their cars didn't get through inspection in time to make a qualifying attempt.
Q) HAVE YOU EVER BEEN AT THE RACE TRACK AND NOT BE ABLE TO QUALIFY?
Gordon: "First time ever. There's a first time for everything, I guess. This is absolutely embarrassing. I just feel so bad for my guys and for 3M. To not even get a chance to go out on the race track is ridiculous. I know the fans deserve an apology. I don't know how many cars there must be back here (the garage) that never even got a chance to go on the track. I know we went through twice. When you have this many.....I've seen five or six or even 10 cars that have issues going through (tech) with certain little things. But this many cars that didn't go; that's not on these teams. And they deserve better than this. I can't believe how disappointing this is. I assume I made the race; I mean, who knows what even happened with the points and what's going on? There are guys that don't have the points that are going home that never even got a chance to even get out there. It's a big letdown for me and for our series, right now, that this happened. There is no way that this should ever happen."
Gordon: "There is something wrong. Or there is something wrong with the system. Or there is something wrong with the amount of time they allot to get through. There is no way this many good cars, talented people that they can't figure out how to get these cars through inspection. These guys are too smart. Yes we are pushing limits, but there is something wrong here. I'm embarrassed; I'm embarrassed for our series right now that this just happened. I'm really upset for my sponsor 3M that just came on for this weekend where we didn't even get a chance to qualify. We are just fortunate - I'm assuming we aren't going home because of points from last year. I know there are a lot of teams out here that aren't going to be that fortunate. I hate it for these guys that work so hard. We were excited about qualifying today. I thought we had a great shot at being up front. This is absolutely ridiculous."(Team Chevy)(2-28-2015)
Jeff Gordon pushing forward on Fort Erie track: Representatives from Jeff Gordon say they remain committed towards the development of the $400 million Canadian Motor Speedway in Fort Erie. Pending approvals from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Province of Ontario, officials expect to file this spring for the necessary permits to resume construction for the massive track complex along Bowen Road and just off of the Queen Elizabeth Way. The track, whose centerpiece is a Gordon-designed signature speedway, could see its first race take place by 2017. "Jeff has very precise and intimate ideas on how he wants the CMS oval designed and built," said John Bickford Sr., Jeff Gordon Inc. vice president and general manager. Bickford is Gordon's stepfather. Billed as a motorsport innovation park, Canadian Motor Speedway will have a 3/4 mile banked oval track and a 2-mile graded road course. The grandstand will hold 60,000 race fans plus an enclosed club seat section for another 5,000 fans and 40 luxury suites.(Buffalo Busniess First)
AND For the $400-million Canadian Motor Speedway to keep moving forward changes need to be made at QEW-Bowen Rd. interchange. "That overpass at Bowen Rd., does need to be upgraded," said CMS spokesman Erik Tomas. "But because it's going to be the main access and egress point to the speedway development, meetings are being conducted with the Ministry of Transportation to determine what has to go there, and whether that will be a two or four-lane design." Tomas said the track has spent a large sum of money on traffic studies, and even though there will be about 60,000 people in the stands initially for auto-racing events, it might not be necessarily to have an expensive four-lane interchange. The track might be able to do it with two lanes.(Niagara Falls Review)(2-28-2015)
The End Of The Beginning for Gordon: #24-Jeff Gordon goes back to where it all began this weekend for perhaps his final race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Gordon made his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut in the 1992 season finale at AMS, sprouting a storied career highlighted by four championships and 92 wins entering his last full-time campaign. The #24 Hendrick Motorsports driver placed 29th in the Hooters 500 that November afternoon, a finish he has rarely replicated since. Gordon leads all active full-time drivers with five wins in his 41 starts at AMS. He also boasts 16 top fives (39%). 26 top 10s (63.4%) and two poles. Gordon last won at Atlanta in 2011.(NASCAR)(2-26-2015)
Gordon has no plans to race in Sprint Cup Series in 2016: #24-Jeff Gordon is backing away from the possibility of running more races after this year. Gordon announced last month this will be his final year as a full-time driver, but he did not use the word retirement. On Thursday, he said it's "highly unlikely" he'll race a Sprint Cup car in 2016. He says it is difficult to put together a ride for one race and be competitive enough to win. He said trying to get a one-off ride with Hendrick Motorsports would be disruptive to the organization.(Associated Press)(2-19-2015)
Gordon pole extends streak record: #24-Jeff Gordon won the pole for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, his 78th career pole, 3rd all time. It is the 23rd straight season [every season he has been full time in Sprint Cup] that Gordon has won a pole, extending his record, which had been 22 seasons. Gordon has also won 20 races from the pole, 5th all time, tied with Bobby Allison. Richard Petty holds that record at 61 followed by Pearson at 37. See more records and stats on Jayski.com's All Time Pole Winners & Records page.(2-19-2015)
NASCAR's Most Valuable Teams: NASCAR's most valuable team, Hendrick Motorsports, is now worth $350 million, and it boasts the sport's most valuable sponsorship portfolio. Last year the team collected nearly $120 million from sponsors alone, while only two other teams generated that much in total revenue. The biggest source of that earning power is the four stars that Hendrick has behind the wheel: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #5-Kasey Kahne.
Second behind Hendrick and closing the gap is Joe Gibbs Racing, up 18% to a value of $201 million this year. Gibbs has maintained strong relationships with companies like FedEx, Dollar General and Mars, which sponsors Kyle Busch's famous M&Ms car. And in 2015 the driver lineup of #18-Kyle Busch, #11-Denny Hamlin and #20-Matt Kenseth will be joined by #19-Carl Edwards as Gibbs expands to four cars. It will be only the third team to do so this year, joining Hendrick and Stewart-Haas, which went to four last season.
And Stewart-Haas, now at a value of $186 million, is third on the list. That 26% surge in value over last year should be little surprise to fans of the sport. The team has been consistently improving, and revenue has climbed from $68 million in 2010 to $120 million last year. The most recent increase was thanks in large part to Kevin Harvick, who joined the team last year. Harvick not only brought a 22-race sponsorship with Budweiser over from Richard Childress Racing - last year the team ranked second in total sponsorship income with around $87 million - but he also then won the 2014 Sprint Cup in the premier of NASCAR's new Chase format. Harvick's stellar season was worth $12.8 million in total winnings; only one other driver managed to break $9 million.(see full story and list at Forbes.com)(2-19-2015)
Ray Evernham starts 2nd season of Americana: This February, Velocity returns on its cross-country road trip to open the garage doors and lift the hoods of four-wheeled treasures that have had a profound effect on American culture. Three-time NASCAR champion crew chief Ray Evernham returns as host of AMERICARNA, scouting the incredible hidden stories of American automotive history that defined our cultural identity. From the last car Elvis Presley drove to the epic memoir of the Ford Mustang, and a tour of prototype cars in the General Motors vault, AMERICARNA presents a look at our national story through the lens of one of its greatest inventions: the automobile. Season two of AMERICARNA world premieres on February 17th with two all-new episodes back-to-back at new 10:00 PM (ET/PT) and 10:30PM (ET/PT). "Cars have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, both personally and professionally", said Ray Evernham. "I'd like to think that my experience very much mirrors the American automobile experience. Cars are an undeniable part of our history and this season of AMERICARNA tackles some of the most extraordinary accounts from America's automotive story."(VMG)(2-17-2015)
Axalta Names Jeff Gordon Global Business Advisor: Axalta Coating Systems and Jeff Gordon announced a new multi-year partnership. Gordon will become Axalta's Global Business Advisor, and serve as special advisor to Charlie Shaver, Axalta Chairman and CEO, bringing his winning skills and innovative thinking to Axalta, its leadership team and its customers worldwide. Axalta and Gordon have a long history, which began through the company's sponsorship of the #24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Although Gordon recently announced 2015 will be his final season as a full-time driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Axalta will continue to sponsor and be the official paint supplier of Hendrick Motorsports.
"After 22 years, our partnership with Jeff and Hendrick Motorsports is the longest running driver, team and sponsor combination in NASCAR history," said Shaver. "As a company that focuses on helping our customers win and delivering on our promises, Jeff embodies everything that Axalta represents and, as he contemplates his future outside of a race car, we see many additional areas where we can work together."
Through the new partnership, Gordon will offer unique insights to Axalta global leaders in the Automotive Refinish, OEM, Commercial Vehicle and Industrial businesses. He will have the opportunity to directly contribute to specific global strategic initiatives; including goal setting and execution, and creating a winning culture.
"As I started to think about what's next for me outside of racing, I found an opportunity to use other skill sets and discover things about myself that I didn't have time to focus on before," said Gordon. "Axalta has been a trusted partner for my entire career and I can't think of a more perfect partner to collaborate with in the years to come. I look forward to working with Charlie and his team."
No stranger to a challenge, Gordon will bring incredible drive, passion and valuable insights to his new Axalta role. "While I am sad to see Jeff step away from the weekly challenge of racing, I am delighted to see him become more involved with the Axalta business," said Nigel Budden, Vice President, North America, Axalta. "I am also very excited about the options this now gives our Refinish Paint Business in North America to further develop and work with Hendrick Motorsports in our sponsorship."(JeffGordon.com)(2-13-2015)
Jeff Gordon among most marketable celebrities in sports: When Jeff Gordon retires from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series after more than two decades, one of his many legacies will be his ability to deliver marketing results through mainstream media. "From Saturday night racing under the lights to Saturday Night Live, the four-time Sprint Cup Champion has provided a tremendous amount of exposure for NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports, sponsors and charitable causes. Jeff Gordon's skills as an ambassador are surpassed only by his racing accomplishments," said Peter Laatz, Executive Vice President, Repucom. Repucom research shows that Gordon ranked first among all NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers in time on screen in 2014 with over 24 hours. Gordon and his sponsors also generated more than one billion online impressions. The fan base for Jeff Gordon is 14 million strong and one in five NASCAR fans identify Gordon as their favorite driver, according to Repucom. Gordon is ranked third among current NASCAR drivers, behind Danica Patrick and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., in overall marketability based upon Repucom's Celebrity DBI, an independent index that quantifies consumer perceptions of more than 5,000 celebrities worldwide. Repucom is a trusted advisor and sponsor in sports and entertainment intelligence solutions, allowing more than 1,700 businesses around the world to better understand and connect with their audiences and customers through media, sponsorship, communication and experiential platforms.(Repucom)(2-13-2015)
Gordon talks more about TV plans: Four-time premier series champion Jeff Gordon was a guest Tuesday on "FOX & Friends," and he discussed more details of his new job as a FOX race analyst. "I am going to do three races this year for FOX and FOX Sports, XFINITY races," Gordon said. "I'm excited to get in the booth and see what it's like. Who knows what might come out of it?" Those three races comprise nearly a quarter of the 14 NASCAR XFINITY Series races that FOX and FOX Sports 1 will televise in 2015. When asked whether he would consider going into the booth full time after handing the reins of the #24 Chevy SS to Chase Elliott, Gordon reiterated that he'd be ready but knows he has a lot to learn this year. "I love to travel and I love racing," Gordon said. "I'm always going to be a part of Hendrick Motorsports. It's not going to be like focused on driving a race car, but I don't take it for granted. It is going to be tough to do, and we'll see. We'll find out this year."(NASCAR.com)(2-4-2015)
Gordon doesn't want car number 24 retired: Jeff Gordon knows some of his fans would rather not see the #24 on the car of another Sprint Cup driver.
But he believes Chase Elliott will have so much success, his fans eventually will change their minds. So he convinced team owner Rick Hendrick that Elliott, who will replace the four-time Cup champion starting in 2016, should drive a Hendrick car with the #24 on the side. "Rick wanted to retire that number for maybe one year or a certain period of time - you never know what NASCAR allows," said Gordon, who will retire from full-time racing after the 2015 season. "He definitely threw that idea out to me, and I said, 'No.' I love the #24. I want to see the 24 go on to do great things. I did say if Chase was really adamant or (his dad) Bill and Chase and (his mom) Cindy all felt like that another number was more suited, that I was open to it. But I think our fans want to see the 24 continue on with the right person and be successful with the right guy, and he's the right guy."
Elliott, who just turned 19, didn't try to lobby to drive the #9, the car number he mostly remembers his dad racing and the number that adorns the side of his JR Motorsports car. Richard Petty Motorsports currently runs the #9, but it could have been possible for Hendrick to negotiate with RPM to get it that number for Elliott. NASCAR issues car numbers each year but with the understanding that the teams will have the same number year to year because they build equity in numbers. NASCAR officials said Monday they had no plans to retire the number. "When you look at the sport, Jeff Gordon has certainly made an unbelievable impact on the sport and has been transcendent," NASCAR executive vice president Steve O'Donnell said Monday. "If you talk to Jeff, and we haven't had that dialogue yet, I'm not sure he would even want that. So we'll wait and talk to Jeff and see where he's at." NASCAR has not retired a number in its three national stock-car series.(Sporting News)(1-31-2015)
Richard Petty: #9 is Chase Elliott's if he wants it: On Wednesday, NASCAR Sprint Cup team owner Richard Petty said he's not "emotionally attached" to #9, which Marcos Ambrose carried at Richard Petty Motorsports and which Sam Hornish Jr. will carry this year. "We inherited that number [when Petty bought the remnants of the Ray Evernham/George Gillette team]," Petty said. "It doesn't mean anything to me, but it does to the sponsors we'd already signed for this year. If the kid wants it next year, though, that's fine with us."
"The kid" he refers to is Chase Elliott. His famous father carried number 9 for most of his career, getting 38 of his 44 victories and his championship with it. "Awesome Bill" carried 17 other numbers during his Sprint Cup career, most notably 11 with Junior Johnson, 21 with the Wood brothers and 94 with the team he created and owned late in his career. Chase Elliott will run five Cup races this year in #25 for Hendrick Motorsports. Don't be surprised if that number is 9 when the 2016 season opens in Daytona Beach.(AutoWeek)(1-29-2015)
Chase Elliott in the #25? UPDATE: was sent an image taken during a photo shoot showing the #25 NAPA Chevy that Chase Elliott will supposedly drive in some NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races during the 2015 season. One rumor has Elliott making his Sprint Cup Series debut at Atlanta on March 1st. Atlanta is his 'home track' as he and his father, Bill, are both from Georgia. See the little bit fuzzy image of the car on the #25 Team Schemes page.(1-28-2015)
UPDATE: Chase Elliott, who became the youngest national series champion in NASCAR history last season, will join Hendrick Motorsports as a full-time Sprint Cup driver beginning in 2016. Elliott's #24 Chevy team will be led by crew chief Alan Gustafson, who has earned 19 wins, 18 pole positions, 98 top-five finishes and 165 top-10s at the elite Cup level.
"Chase brings the kind of intangibles that make him the total package as a driver," said Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick, who announced the news this morning during the team's season kickoff employee event. "Not only is he a special talent inside the race car, but there's a natural combination of competitiveness, work ethic and smarts that you rarely see. Chase's personality and demeanor make him popular with fans, teammates and sponsors. He's a great fit for our organization on many levels, and we feel he and Alan will be a successful combination. There's a lot to be excited about."
In preparation for 2016, Elliott, 19, will make his Sprint Cup debut later this year as part of a five-race schedule with primary sponsorship from NAPA AUTO PARTS. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native will be paired with veteran crew chief Kenny Francis during the limited campaign. Driving the #25 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevy fielded by Hendrick Motorsports, Elliott will be entered in 2015 Cup events March 29 at Martinsville Speedway, April 25 at Richmond International Raceway, May 24 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, July 26 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Sept. 6 at Darlington Raceway.
"Chase has been a fantastic ambassador for NAPA," said Gaylord Spencer, senior vice president of marketing for NAPA AUTO PARTS, which also is primary sponsor of Elliott's JR Motorsports team in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. "As he embarks on this important next step in his career, we're proud to support him across both series in 2015 and look forward to an exciting year on and off the track. The NAPA Family is behind Chase 100 percent."
At the age of 18 years, 11 months and 18 days, Elliott became the youngest champion in any NASCAR national touring series when he won the 2014 XFINITY Series title. The first racer in NASCAR history to win a championship and rookie of the year honors in the same season, he also was voted by fans as the series' most popular driver. Elliott's 2014 season included three wins, two pole positions and 26 top-10 finishes in 33 races. His first victory (Texas Motor Speedway) came in his sixth career series start and made him the second-youngest winner in XFINITY Series history (behind Joey Logano). He completed 99.6 percent of the 6,063 total laps run and became the first driver since 2010 to clinch the championship before the season finale.
Elliott and father Bill are only the fifth father-son duo to win NASCAR national series championships. They are members of an elite group that includes Lee and Richard Petty, Ned and Dale Jarrett, David and Larry Pearson, and Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Bill Elliott, the 1988 Sprint Cup Series champion, will be enshrined into the NASCAR Hall of Fame tomorrow evening.
"So many people have been behind me, and the first thing I want to do is thank them," said Chase Elliott, who will run the full 2015 XFINITY Series schedule as the defending champion. "My parents especially have believed in me every step of the way, and I know this wouldn't be possible without all the sacrifices they've made to focus on my racing career. This is such a big week for our family. I'm also extremely grateful to Mr. Hendrick and my teammates at both Hendrick Motorsports and JR Motorsports for believing in me. NAPA has been a huge supporter, and I'm honored to represent them on and off the track. Of course the fans have been amazing to me, and I'm so appreciative of that. I know how rare this opportunity is and will work as hard as I can to make everyone proud."
Hendrick Motorsports will announce sponsorship for Elliott's 2016 Sprint Cup season at a later date.(Hendrick Motorsports)(1-29-2015)
Pit coach Greg Morin stepping down at HMS: The Hendrick Motorsports athletic department has gone through some turnover in the past few months and now they have another obstacle to get through. Coach Greg Morin, coach of the #48 and #88 teams, has decided to pursue other interests outside of racing and will be leaving the team at the end of January. Early in the year, pit coach Lance Munksgard also left HMS to pursue a career outside of racing. Along with both coaches being gone, HMS lost four different crew members to Joe Gibbs Racing at the end of the 2014 season. See what Morin had to say at Pit Talks.(1-26-2015)
Is a NASCAR TV analyst career in Jeff Gordon's future? UPDATE: Would Jeff Gordon trade his helmet for a headset after exiting his #24 Chevy after the 2015 Sprint Cup Season? The four-time series champion said Friday morning he would consider a career as a TV analyst in NASCAR after he leaves full-time competition this year. "I love the sport," Gordon said during an interview with "The Morning Drive" on SiriusXM Radio's NASCAR channel. "I'm very passionate about it. I love to critique it. I think I could do a good job with that. I don't think it's an easy job. I'll be honest. I have a lot of respect for those that do it from radio and TV. I'd entertain it." Multiple sources have told MotorSportsTalk that Gordon put out feelers to TV networks last year about the possibility of eventually entering the broadcast booth. But Gordon, who hasn't ruled out racing in myriad series beginning in 2016, said he would be spend the season mulling his next step. "I don't know if (TV is) at the top of my list right now," Gordon said. "Throughout this year, one of the things I have to get acclimated to is actually to have a real job. That's going to be an adjustment".(NBC Sports)(1-24-2015)
UPDATE: Jeff Gordon's TV career will start this year, as the soon-to-be-former Sprint Cup Series driver will serve as a rotating analyst for FOX Sports' Xfinity Series broadcasts. Gordon will switch off his Xfinity Series (formerly called Nationwide Series) analyst role with defending Cup champion Kevin Harvick and former Cup champ Brad Keselowski. Those are just part of many changes for FOX, which goes into this season splitting TV broadcasting duties with NBC. The news will officially be announced Monday.(USA Today)(1-25-2015)
Bill Elliott talked to Ford about Chase Elliott: When Bill Elliott is inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Friday, most of the highlights will show him wheeling a Ford. He made his name driving Fords and he was synonymous with the blue oval brand. So to see his son, Chase, driving a Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports affiliate JR Motorsports is a little bit strange. "I tried to make the Ford thing happen," Elliott said. "It didn't. I saw it one way and they saw it another way and it didn't work out. Mr. Hendrick came to us with an opportunity that at the point in time, it wasn't much of an opportunity but he was the only one that would talk to us." Elliott won the 2014 Nationwide (now Xfinity) Series title, and is expected to step into the Hendrick #24 car after Gordon retires at the end of 2015. "My gratitude to (Hendrick), I just can't say enough about the man about what his character is in the sport and what he's done for us," Elliott said. "That kind of went against my roots as far as the Ford goes, but that's the path we ended up having to take at the point in time and I can't do anything about it. Right now, it's set and that's the way it is."(Sporting News)(1-25-2015)
Roush had a shot at Jeff Gordon: Fifteen years ago or so, while researching a NASCAR book, one of the people Tom Jensen interviewed was John Bickford, Jeff Gordon's stepfather and business manager. Bickford, who was the architect of Gordon's career from his early days as a kid in quarter midgets until Gordon was an established NASCAR star, had plenty of interesting stories. One of them surrounded how Gordon wound up in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. After growing up racing open-wheel cars on asphalt and dirt, Gordon ran two full seasons in what's now known as the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 1991 and '92. And while Gordon is one of the most recognizable Chevrolet drivers today, in those days he drove Ford Thunderbirds owned by Bill Davis. Naturally, Ford Motor Co. was keen to see Gordon move up to Sprint Cup in a Ford.
According to Bickford, in 1992, NASCAR team owner Jack Roush called him up and told Bickford he wanted to hire Gordon. After a brief discussion, Bickford said he was amenable to the idea of Gordon driving for Roush and he had a great young crew chief named Ray Evernham who Bickford wanted to be part of the deal. "My drivers don't get to pick their own crew chiefs," Roush told Bickford. "I do that." Whereupon Bickford said he hung up the phone, because it was a package deal. Bickford knew Gordon and Evernham already had great chemistry and would be successful together. He didn't want Gordon to have to start over with a new crew chief.
Roush called back and said there must have been a problem with the phone and Bickford said, no, he had hung up on Roush deliberately. Upon hearing that, Roush went on to explain that if he was making the expensive and potentially risky investment in a promising, but unproven young talent, he had to have the comfort level of hiring the crew chief himself. That was the way Roush always worked in the past and the way he was going to work in the future. And that's when Bickford said he hung up on Roush a second time, and when negotiations between the two officially ended.(Tom Jensen / FoxSports)(1-25-2015)
Jeff Gordon's famous colors just barely made cut: It all started with a promise from Ray Evernham in the summer of 1992. The now-legendary crew chief was a young up-and-comer at the time and was looking to give Jeff Gordon a present for his 21st birthday. Evernham headed to NASCAR artist Sam Bass' studio near Charlotte Motor Speedway in the hopes of getting a program cover. When Bass gave him the program free of charge, he added one condition: When Evernham and Gordon went Sprint Cup racing, Bass wanted a shot at designing their car's paint scheme. True to his word, Evernham would later call Bass and give him the green light to develop three designs to be presented to sponsor DuPont.
After putting together two designs, Bass came to the day of the presentation and a light bulb went off. "I had two of the designs done, and the morning of my presentation I was driving to work and it just hit me that DuPont and their automotive finishes brand were trying to portray that they had a rainbow of colors," Bass told FOXSports.com. "I thought, 'Man, if I arched three colors over the top of that DuPont logo, which is an oval, that would be your rainbow.' I did that on the hood. I did it on the sides. I put neon red, neon green, neon blue, neon yellow." Upon completion of his drawing, Bass said he immediately knew the rainbow design was definitely the best of the three he was submitting. "The story goes that DuPont had 43 drawings to select from," he said. "And they chose mine. It's pretty cool and pretty special to be associated with that car and that driver for the whole 23 years so far."
Long before the days of car wraps, the paint scheme would have to be painted in the body shop, utilizing the multiple bright colors Bass had used in his design. "I thought the guys in the body shop were going to kill me because it was a very complex car to paint," he said. The rest is history, and the rainbow design of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet became one of the most iconic and recognized paint schemes in NASCAR history. Bass then recalled a meeting with Gordon after the design was approved to go over the paint scheme and work out the firesuit design. Upon being shown the paint scheme, Gordon's only request for the firesuit? He did not want to look like a clown. "I guess the design worked, because he wore that firesuit for nine years," Bass said with a laugh.(FoxSports)(1-24-2015)
Gordon's 3M scheme unveiled: 3M unveiled Jeff Gordon's #24 3M paint scheme for 2015 via their YouTube channel. Gordon will run the 3M colors in 11 races during the 2015 season. See images of the scheme on the #24 Team Schemes page. The first race Gordon is scheduled to run the 3M scheme is at Atlanta in March.(1-23-2015)
Gordon and Hendrick NASCAR teleconference:#24-Jeff Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports team owner, Rick Hendrick, met with members of the media to discuss Jeff Gordon's announcement that 2015 will be his final full season of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition. Below are some high lights from Thursday's NASCAR teleconference:
Q. I'm curious. You didn't use the word retirement in your statement. With the way NASCAR's rules are as far as ownership and driving, it looks pretty difficult to see you in a car after next year if it's not -- unless something were to happen to a Hendrick driver or something like that. Can you just not mentally use that word or do you really think there is a chance you could be in a Cup car at some point after 2015?
JEFF GORDON: Well, the way I see myself in the world is that retirement means you go off to a beach somewhere and sit in a rocking chair on the front porch and drink your coffee and pet your dog. That's not me. I plan on working. I'm going to be working -- I'm actually going to have to get a real job now. So when I think of retirement, I just don't think that that's what I'm doing. I want to leave myself open, as well, to be able to get in a car. It doesn't have to be a Cup car. It could be an [XFINITY] car. It could be a truck. It could be a prototype for Le Mans or the Rolex. It might not be any of those things. Heck, I was just out in the desert driving buggies and I maybe want to do the Baja 1000. I don't plan on doing any racing, but I know I'm not going to be retiring because I have a lot on my plate already that we have plans for, and we'll be talking about in the future. And I'm excited about that. I really am.
Q. Rick, obviously there is a lot of speculation about Chase Elliott. Where does he fit into the plans given this announcement?
RICK HENDRICK: Oh, we're just kind of looking at what's down the road a little bit later. We're going to kind of focus on Jeff and what he's accomplished, and then at a later time we'll kind of focus on who is going to be in the car.
See the full transcript at the Team Chevy website.(1-23-2015)
NASCAR Statement from Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, on Jeff Gordon: "Jeff Gordon transcends NASCAR and will be celebrated as one of the greatest drivers to ever race. We have all enjoyed watching his legend grow for more than two decades, and will continue to do so during his final full-time season. His prolonged excellence and unmatched class continue to earn him the admiration of fans across the globe. Today's announcement is a bittersweet one. I'll miss his competitive fire on a weekly basis, but I am also happy for Jeff and his family as they start a new chapter. On behalf of the entire NASCAR family, I thank Jeff for his years of dedication and genuine love for this sport, and wish him the very best in his final season."(NASCAR)(1-22-2015)
Jeff Gordon to run final full-time NASCAR season in 2015: Jeff Gordon will compete in his 23rd and final full-time Sprint Cup Series season in 2015. He announced his decision this morning to the #24 Hendrick Motorsports team he has driven for since November 1992. "As a race car driver, much of what I've done throughout my life has been based on following my instincts and trying to make good decisions," Gordon said. "I thought long and hard about my future this past year and during the offseason, and I've decided 2015 will be the last time I compete for a championship. I won't use the 'R-word' because I plan to stay extremely busy in the years ahead, and there's always the possibility I'll compete in selected events, although I currently have no plans to do that. I don't foresee a day when I'll ever step away from racing. 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. As an equity owner in Hendrick Motorsports, I'm a partner with Rick (Hendrick) and will remain heavily involved with the company for many years to come. It means so much to have the chance to continue working with the owner who took a chance on me and the incredible team that's stood behind me every step of the way. Racing has provided a tremendous amount of opportunity that's been extraordinarily rewarding and fulfilling in my life. The work we're doing with the Jeff Gordon 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. I'll explore opportunities for the next phase of my career, but my primary focus now and throughout 2015 will be my performance in the No. 24 Chevrolet. I'm going to pour everything I have into this season and look forward to the challenge of competing for one last championship. To everyone at NASCAR, my teammates, sponsors, competitors, friends, family, members of the media and especially our incredible fans, all I can say is thank you."
Gordon, 43, has earned four career Cup championships, 92 points-paying race wins and 77 pole positions, all for longtime car owner Rick Hendrick. He is third in all-time victories behind only NASCAR Hall of Fame drivers Richard Petty (200) and David Pearson (105). One of the most versatile drivers of his era in any auto racing discipline, Gordon's résumé includes three Daytona 500 victories and a record five Brickyard 400 wins. He is the sport's winningest road course driver with nine victories, stands alone as the all-time leader with 12 restrictor plate wins and has won at every track on the Sprint Cup circuit with the exception of Kentucky Speedway.
"There's simply no way to quantify Jeff's impact," said Hendrick, who first noticed Gordon during a race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March 1992. "He's one of the biggest sports stars of a generation, and his contributions to the success and growth of NASCAR are unsurpassed. There's been no better ambassador for stock car racing and no greater representation of what a champion should be. I will never be able to properly express the respect and admiration I have for Jeff and how meaningful our relationship is to me. I'm so grateful for everything he's done for our company and my family, and I look forward to many more years together as friends and business partners." Hendrick Motorsports will announce plans for its 2016 team alignment at a later date.(Hendrick Motorsports)
AND while nothing has been announced and it mentions in the above PR that HMS will "announce plans for its 2016 team alignment at a later date", most are speculating that Chase Elliott, the 2014 Xfinity Series Champ and son of NASCAR legend Bill Elliott, would replace Gordon in a fourth HMS Chevy starting in 2016. Elliott supposedly will run some Sprint Cup Series races in 2015 in a fifth HMS entry (a fifth team is allowed for a rookie driver).(1-22-2015)
JEFF GORDON BIO BRIEF:
FULL NAME: Jeffery Michael Gordon
BIRTHDATE: Aug. 4, 1971
BIRTHPLACE: Vallejo, California
HOMETOWN: Pittsboro, Indiana
FAMILY: Wife Ingrid Vandebosch; daughter Ella Sofia (7); son Leo Benjamin (4)
" Four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion (1995, 1997, 1998, 2001)
" 92 career Cup victories; third on the all-time list
" 77 career Cup pole positions; third on the all-time list
" Three-time Daytona 500 winner (1997, 1999, 2005)
" Five-time Brickyard 400 winner (1994, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2014)
" Three-time champion of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (1995, 1997, 2001)
" NASCAR record nine road course victories
" NASCAR record 12 restrictor plate victories
" 1997 Winston Million winner and four-time Winston No Bull 5 winner
" Seven-time winner at Darlington Raceway
CUP SERIES HIGHLIGHTS AND CAREER NOTES:
2014: Captured four victories, three pole positions, 14 top-five finishes and a series-leading 23 top-10s. Scored a NASCAR-record fifth Brickyard 400 win, tying Formula One driver Michael Schumacher for the most victories at Indianapolis. Posted series-best average finish (10.4) en route to a sixth-place finish in the point standings. Extended NASCAR record for most consecutive seasons with a pole (22). Starred in the viral video "Test Drive 2," which has surpassed 17 million views on YouTube.
2013: Finished sixth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with one win (Martinsville), two poles, eight top-fives and 17 top-10s. Set NASCAR record for most consecutive seasons with a pole (21), breaking a tie with NASCAR Hall of Fame driver David Pearson. Starred in the viral video "Test Drive," which has surpassed 43 million views on YouTube.
2012: Recorded two wins, two poles, 11 top-fives, 18 top-10s and finished 10th in the Chase. Scored first career Homestead-Miami victory and surpassed NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Darrell Waltrip for sixth in all-time career laps led (23,147). Recipient of the Heisman Humanitarian Award, established to recognize those in sports who give significantly to serve communities and improve the lives of others. Appeared as himself in an episode of the FOX animated television show "The Simpsons." Returned to Rwanda for a second time in conjunction with the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation. Recipient of the NMPA Myers Brothers Award, which recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of stock car racing.
2011: Began working with fourth full-time crew chief Alan Gustafson. Posted three wins, one pole, 13 top-fives and 18 top-10s en route to an eighth-place finish in the Chase. Moved to third in all-time wins after scoring his 85th career victory at Atlanta and claimed sole possession of third in all-time career poles (70). Voiced the character "Jeff Gorvette" in the animated film "Cars 2." Traveled to Rwanda with the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation, and visited the Democratic Republic of Congo in conjunction with the Clinton Global Initiative.
2010: Finished ninth in the Chase with one pole, 11 top-fives and 17 top-10s. Tied NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Cale Yarborough for third in all-time career poles (69) and remained sixth in all-time career wins (82), one behind Yarborough.
2009: Finished third in the Chase with one win, one pole, 16 top-fives and a series-high 25 top-10s. Scored first career Texas victory. Appeared in an episode of the long-running children's television series "Sesame Street."
2008: Finished seventh in the Chase with four poles, 13 top-fives and 19 top-10s. Scored first career Texas pole. Became first NASCAR driver to surpass $100 million in career prize winnings.
2007: Finished second in the Chase with six wins, seven poles, 21 top-fives and 30 top-10s -- a single-season record for most top-10s in NASCAR's modern era (1972-present). Scored first career Phoenix victory and set all-time record for most career restrictor plate wins (12). Moved to sixth all-time in career wins (81) and fourth all-time in career poles (63).
2006: Finished sixth in the Chase with two victories, two poles, 14 top-fives and 18 top-10s. Scored first career Chicagoland victory and extended own record for most road course victories (9) with fifth career win at Sonoma.
2005: Posted four wins, two poles, eight top-fives, 14 top-10s and finished 11th in the point standings. Achieved third career Daytona 500 victory, fourth win at Talladega and sixth and seventh victories at Martinsville, marking the second time in three years he swept both events at the short track. Ran first race with third full-time crew chief Steve Letarte at New Hampshire on Sept. 18. Appeared as himself in the film "Herbie: Fully Loaded."
2004: Five wins, six poles, 16 top-fives and 25 top-10s. Finished third in the inaugural Chase, marking 11 consecutive top-10 point finishes. Led standings after 26th race before top-10 points were reset. Became the first stock car driver to capture four victories at Indianapolis and only the fourth driver in history to win there four times. Won back-to-back races for the 19th and 20th times in his career.
2003: Three wins, four poles, 15 top-fives, 20 top-10s and a series-leading 1,639 laps led. Won both events at Martinsville to complete a season sweep at the track. Finished fourth in the point standings. Became the only auto racing driver in the show's history to host NBC's "Saturday Night Live."
2002: Recorded three victories, three poles, 13 top-fives and 20 top-10s. At Darlington, won 60th career race. Recorded 300th career start and became first NASCAR driver to surpass $50 million in career prize winnings.
2001: Achieved a fourth career championship to become at the time only the third driver to win more than three titles. Led the series in several statistical categories: wins (6), poles (6), top-fives (18), top-10s (24), races led (25) and laps led (2,320). Became the first driver to eclipse $10 million in single-season prize winnings. Won both the all-star event and the Brickyard 400.
2000: Began working with second full-time crew chief Robbie Loomis. Earned three wins, three poles, 11 top-fives and 22 top-10s. Became the youngest driver in history to achieve 50 career wins. Won Talladega, Richmond and Sonoma. Win at Sonoma marked sixth straight road course victory, a series record. Finished ninth in points.
1999: Finished the season with seven victories to become the first driver in history to win the most races for five straight years. Also won the most poles (7) and led the most laps (1,319). Finished the season sixth in points with 18 top-fives and 21 top-10s. Ran final race with original crew chief Ray Evernham at Dover on Sept. 26. Appeared on the cover of Fortune magazine. Established the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation, which supports pediatric cancer research, treatment and patient support programs. Became an equity owner in Hendrick Motorsports after signing a lifetime contract to drive for the team.
1998: Won third series championship with 13 victories, seven poles, 26 top-fives and 28 top-10s. Became first driver to win the Brickyard 400 twice. Won the Winston No Bull Five twice. Tied two modern-era records with 13 wins in one season and four wins in a row. Named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers.
1997: Won second series championship with 10 victories, one pole, 22 top-fives and 23 top-10s. Became youngest driver to win the Daytona 500 in a Hendrick Motorsports 1-2-3 finish. Second driver ever to win the Winston Million.
1996: Led the series in wins (10), poles (5) and laps led (2,314). Also recorded 21 top-fives and 24 top-10s. Finished second in championship points, only 37 behind Hendrick Motorsports teammate Terry Labonte.
1995: At 24, became youngest Cup champion in NASCAR's modern era in only third full season in the series. Recorded seven victories, eight poles (personal record), 23 top-10 finishes and 2,610 laps led.
1994: Won twice, including first career victory at Charlotte and the inaugural Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis. Achieved seven top-fives and 14 top-10s.
1993: Earned series Rookie of the Year to become the first driver ever to win top rookie honors in NASCAR's two top divisions (XFINITY Series Rookie of the Year in 1991). Became first rookie in 30 years to win a 125-mile qualifying race at Daytona.
1992: Signed contract with Hendrick Motorsports and made first career series start on Nov. 15 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, finishing 31st under the guidance of crew chief Evernham. The race also marked the final NASCAR event for seven-time series champion Richard Petty.
Gordon comments on his back: #24-Jeff Gordon had a question-and-answer session on the telephone with NASCAR This Week, one question concerned his back:
Q) Can you update us about your back spasms?
Gordon: "It's not worth talking about. Nothing has changed since last year. It's an ongoing process for me to maintain it. It's not something I'm just going to fix. It's not something I can do and all of a sudden my back will be healed. Other than what happened at Charlotte, it didn't hinder me or my performance throughout the whole 2014 season."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-21-2015)
Jeff Gordon and Ray Evernham Begin 2015 Living in the Past UPDATE: Jeff Gordon and former crew chief Ray Evernham will team up again in 2015. On Jan. 16 in Scottsdale, Arizona, the duo will auction off their final race-winning car at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale. Proceeds from the sale of the 1999 #24 Pepsi Chevrolet Monte Carlo that won the inaugural NASCAR XFINITY Series (then known as the NASCAR Busch Series) race at Phoenix International Raceway will benefit Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation. In 1999, Gordon/Evernham Motorsports (GEM) was formed to compete in six NASCAR XFINITY Series races with Gordon as driver and Evernham as crew chief. Evernham hosts Velocity's AmeriCarna, and the television series will feature the restoration and sale of this 1999 #24 Chevy (Lot No. 3007; scheduled to be auctioned at 7 p.m. local time) during an upcoming episode.(VMG)(1-13-2015)
UPDATE: Jeff Gordon and Ray Evernham's final race-winning stock car sold for $500,000 at auction on Friday night at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale, to benefit the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation. The car reached $450,000 and then hit a half million when Gordon sweetened the deal by adding his Pepsi uniform and autographed helmet. Both Gordon and Evernham were in attendance to watch the car go across the auction block. Evernham, who currently hosts "AmeriCarna" on Velocity, was also part of the Barrett-Jackson broadcast with the auction moving over to that channel this week. One of the upcoming episodes of "AmeriCarna" will feature the restoration and sale of the #24 Chevrolet. Season 2 of "AmeriCarna" is set to debut Feb. 17 on Velocity. Along with the Gordon car, one of the shows will be Elvis Presley-themed and it's one that Dale Earnhardt Jr. helped Evernham with.(Motor Racing Network)(1-18-2015)
Hendrick buys limited-edition BMW at Barrett-Jackson: NASCAR team owner and inveterate car collector Rick Hendrick is at it again. Thursday night at the Barrett-Jackson Collector-Car Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., Hendrick paid $700,000 for a special 30th Jahre -- German for "year" -- Anniversary Edition 2014 BMW M5 sedan, with all proceeds going to the BMW Car Club of America Foundation, which helps train young drivers. The car was one of just 30 imported in to the U.S. market, and one of just 300 produced worldwide. The $700,000 hammer price was the high sale of the auction so far. And it hauls asphalt, too, thanks to a 600-horsepower engine, which propels it from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 3.9 seconds. The consignor described this car as "the last unsold example in this country" and "the most powerful production BMW ever." Hendrick said the car will join the more than 200 cars in his Concord, N.C., museum. In fact, it will be parked next to a BMW i8 hybrid supercar in the same color. "We were fortunate enough to get the i8 in this color," said Hendrick. "This baby's going to go right beside the i8 in the museum. The only miles it's going to get are in the truck (sending it from Arizona to North Carolina.)"(FoxSports)(1-17-2014)
3M releases schedule of races with Gordon: Jeff Gordon will carry new sponsorship looks in the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season with help from new partner 3M. Monday, the innovative technology company announced which races it would be the focal point on Gordon's Hendrick Motorsports entry. 3M will be featured on Gordon's #24 Chevrolet as primary sponsor in 11 Sprint Cup events next season: Atlanta, Las Vegas, Bristol (Apr), Kansas (May & Oct), Dover (May), Indianapolis (July), Darlington (Sept), Richmond (Sept), Charlotte (Oct), and Talladega (Oct).(NASCAR.com), see an image of the supposed 3M scheme on the #24 Team Schemes page.(1-13-2015)
Jeff Gordon in the #46? What might have been? All those #24 tattoos vowing allegiance to Jeff Gordon would have never decorated torsos, arms and legs. Those #24 diecast cars would have never been made. And a losing streak of epic proportions would have continued. Yes, Jeff Gordon's car number was to have been #46. You know that if you saw the jaw-dropping tweet from Ray Evernham, Gordon's former crew chief, that showed two pictures of Rainbow-colored race cars with the #46 on the door instead of the #24. But that is only part of the story. You likely haven't heard the whole story of how one of NASCAR's greatest drivers nearly had a number that has had little significance throughout sports.
Gordon joined Hendrick Motorsports in 1992 and the plan was to run the #46. Hendrick used that number for one race in 1989 and another in 1990 with Greg Sacks driving a car to film racing scenes for "Days of Thunder." Cole Trickle (played by Tom Cruise) drove the #46 car in the movie. An issue arose when John Bickford, Gordon's stepfather, looked into trademarking the #46. Bickford sought to create a licensing program around Gordon but discovered that Paramount Pictures had secured the licensing rights for that number for toys, apparel and other souvenirs affiliated with the movie - released two years before Gordon's series debut. Bickford told Hendrick Motorsports officials that they would have to change the number to something other than 46.
"They went through a series of numbers available from NASCAR, presented those numbers to Rick (Hendrick) and Jeff," Bickford said told Motor Racing Network. "What our thinking was we wanted a number that had no real historical connection to anything, certainly wasn't going to have any licensing problems. The #24 sat there and it had no significant relevance to the industry." The #24 had never won a race in NASCAR's top series.
The next issue was the paint scheme. The Rainbow theme was there but Evernham said that the middle of the car was black not blue. That's how artist Sam Bass originally drew the car. Bickford recalls that DuPont officials wanted more than just drawings to see how the car looked, so the team painted a couple of cars and kept them locked behind closed doors since Gordon's debut had not been announced. Photographs of the car were sent to DuPont and then company officials came to Hendrick Motorsports to inspect the car. That leads to the photographs of a #46 Rainbow-colored car Evernham posted this week. It came from a fan. Evernham admits he forgot about the number and the story behind it until seeing the pictures.(Motor Racing Network)(1-8-2015)
Gordon comments about retirement: from a #24-Jeff Gordon Q&A by Ryan McGee on ESPN.com:
McGee: "This was your best finish in seven years. Under the old Chase system, you'd have finally won a fifth title. But we writers still come at you with retirement questions. So ... retirement?"
Gordon: "I don't believe in retirement, No. 1, but I know that I won't always be a full-time Cup driver. That time is coming. Remember in May, my back got so bad I couldn't get out of bed, let alone into a race car? So will that play a role in retirement sooner rather than later? It's very possible. It seems to be the one limiting factor that I have right now. But there's no plan. There's no countdown. I'm racing."(see full Q&A at ESPN.com)(12-15-2014)
Gordon Explains Pit Strategy at Homestead: Jeff Gordon appeared to have a race-winning car in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, but a decision to pit for four tires late in the race dropped him far back in the running order and relegated the driver of the #24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy to a 10th-place finish.
In tying up that loose end from Homestead, Gordon explained that his decision was dictated by a choice made earlier in the race. "I think the question really needs to be about, before that, why we didn't pit," Gordon told the NASCAR Wire Service after the Myers Brothers Luncheon. "You take all the information you have from past history of long green-flag runs to the end of the race, track position, who's coming, who's not...We dominated that race, had a car that I think could have and should have won that race. But we all came in and got four tires, they throw the green, and caution comes out in three or four laps. We stay out, and I think we went one more round of green-flag run, four or five laps, and caution comes out again. At that point, that's where the race changed for us and really took us out of contention, because we decided to stay out, and all those other guys decided to come in, and there were just too many cautions at the end."
Gordon scoffed at the suggestion that he might not have wanted to restart up front on old tires at the end of the race, with the potential to effect the outcome of the championship battle. "Heck, no, that had nothing to do with it," Gordon said. "It was all about winning the race, and knowing that those guys behind us had fresh tires, because they elected to pit-and that place eats tires up...what's really interesting is, when you look at (Sprint Cup champion) Kevin Harvick's position, he came down pit road and took four (tires) where some other guys took two, and he saw his championship chances completely go out the window. If you listened to his radio communication, it was 'We're done, we're done. But enough cautions fell after that to bring them back into it, and he did a great job, obviously, moving up through there. And that exact same thing that helped win him the championship is what cost us the win for that race."(NASCAR Wire Service)(12-6-2014)
2014 Most Mentioned Drivers: According to Joyce Julius, a company that tracks media mentions for sport sponsors, Kevin Harvick was the most-mentioned NASCAR driver on TV this year, but Jeff Gordon grabbed the most interview time. The top 10:
#4-Kevin Harvick, 54 interviews, time of 53:12, 5,740 media mentions
#24-Jeff Gordon, 47 interviews, time of 1:00:33, 5,094 media mentions
#48-Jimmie Johnson, 47 interviews, time of 42:41, 4,830 media mentions
#2-Brad Keselowski, 45 interviews, time of 41:30, 4,164 media mentions
#22-Joey Logano, 40 interviews, time of 43:00, 3,482 media mentions
#88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., 50 interviews, time of 56:32, 3,311 media mentions
#20-Matt Kenseth, 40 interviews, time of 36:16, 2,892 media mentions
#11-Denny Hamlin, 37 interviews, time of 39:29, 2,768 media mentions
#18-Kyle Busch, 31 interviews, time of 24:27, 2,371 media mentions
#5-Kasey Kahne, 25 interviews, time of 24:13, 1,889 media mentions
Statistics reflect all live race telecasts and replays of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. (Joyce Julius)(12-1-2014)
What are Sprint Cup plans for Chase Elliott? In a Thursday interview on SiriusXM Satellite Radio's NASCAR channel, Hendrick Motorsports general manager Doug Duchardt said the team planned to field a car for Chase Elliott in a handful of Sprint Cup races next season under the guidance of Kenny Francis (who was promoted Wednesday from crew chief of the #5 to vehicle technical director by Hendrick). Duchardt didn't speculate further on the future for Elliott. The 18-year-old son of NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott will run the rebranded Xfinity Series next year for JRM. "We'll see what the right steps are for the future, but right now, we're just going to take 2015 and take a look at how things are progressing," Duchardt said. "It's like having a prospect in Triple A batting .380 and when's he going to come up to the club. I get it. But we'll work on that and see where that all heads. Right now, he'll run the NAPA Camaro in '15, and we'll run some Cup races and see where that leads us. I understand it's part of the fun and speculation of what could or should be done. I completely understand it. We're going to try to make sure we put him in the best position to be successful when he does come here full time."
Hendrick also has signed Jimmie Johnson through next season. At a Thursday event to announce more than $500,000 in education grants from his foundation, the six-time series champion indicated he hoped to have an extension soon and said he had been unaware of Kahne's deal. "That's good news for Kasey," he said. Asked if Elliott was in line for his #48, Johnson said with a laugh, "No. I think there's maybe somebody else in line to retire before I do."(USA Today)(11-21-2014)
Gustafson talks about decision to pit Gordon at Homestead: Crew chief Alan Gustafson said his mistake late in Sunday's race at Homestead-Miami Speedway cost #24-Jeff Gordon a chance to win. Gustafson discussed his late-race strategy Tuesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's "The Morning Drive." Gustafson told Gordon not pit during a caution 19 laps from the finish. The move kept Gordon first but with most of the field taking tires, it left him at a disadvantage. During the next caution a few laps later, Gordon pitted from second to get four new tires. He didn't have time to recover. Gordon finished 10th despite leading a race-high 161 laps. So what happened?
"Really, the error was made, I stayed out when the majority of the field pitted and that put us in a bad situation," Gustafson said of the caution 19 laps from the finish. "Jeff felt like (on the following caution) we weren't in a very good position to succeed, so we made a decision to come pit. Really the first stop, when us and Denny (Hamlin) and ... a few other cars stayed out, that was the one that really hurt us. That's on me. It was a mistake I made. I tried to keep the track position. I felt like that was going to be the highest percentage decision and it ended up not being. That put us behind unfortunately. I think we had the best car. The team deserved to win the race. It was a bad decision from my part and I'm going to learn from it. It would be really easy for me to make a lot of excuses and say, 'Hey there's a lot of circumstances that play into it - and there are and it is a very tough thing to do - but that's my job and in that situation I feel like I didn't do it to the best of my capabilities."(MRN)(11-19-2014)
Gordon moves into 2nd in the all-time top-tens list: During his 22-year Sprint Cup career, #24-Jeff Gordon has collected 454 top-10s, which is now 2nd all-time in that statistical category, with Mark Martin (453) now in 3rd and 258 behind Richard Petty (712). Gordon has collected 23 this season, which is the series-best.(11-18-2014)
Hendrick Motorsports going for pole #200: This weekend, Hendrick Motorsports could reach a milestone. With one more Sprint Cup Series pole position, the organization will have earned 200 in its 30-year history. Currently, Hendrick Motorsports sits at 199 poles, with #24-Jeff Gordon and #48-Jimmie Johnson combining for three so far in the 2014 season.(HMS), HMS's last pole was when Gordon won the pole at Michigan in August (11-14-2014)
UPDATE: Jeff Gordon won the pole at Homestead, bring Hendrick Motorsports pole total to 200.(11-15-2014)
200 POLES Hendrick Motorsports First To Reach Century Mark ... TWICE:
1 - Hendrick recorded its first series pole with Geoff Bodine at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 25, 1985
16 - The number of different Hendrick Motorsports drivers that have posted at least one pole
26 - The number of different tracks at which Hendrick posted a pole
40 - The number of wins from the pole (qualifying was canceled for two of the wins)
206.558 - The MPH of the fastest pole winning speed for a Hendrick driver - Jeff Gordon at Michigan on Aug. 17, 2014
1 Jeff Gordon 77
2 Jimmie Johnson 33
3 Geoff Bodine 22
4 Ken Schrader 17
5 Mark Martin 10
6 Tim Richmond 9
7 Terry Labonte 7
8 Dale Earnhardt Jr 6
9 Brian Vickers 4
10 Kasey Kahne 4
11 Ricky Rudd 4
12 Darrell Waltrip 2
13 Kyle Busch 2
14 Casey Mears 1
15 Greg Sacks 1
16 Ricky Craven 1
Gordon pole-less at Homestead: Although #24-Jeff Gordon ranks third all-time with 76 career pole positions, Homestead-Miami Speedway is one of four tracks where Gordon has yet to win a pole position. Kansas Speedway, Kentucky Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway are the other venues where Gordon has never won a pole position.(HMS)(11-14-2014)
UPDATE: with Gordon's pole at Homestead, he now has won a pole at all tracks he has ran but three: Kansas, Kentucky and Las Vegas.(11-15-2014)
Gordon and sponsor ring the bell at New York Stock Exchange: Axalta Coating Systems listed its IPO at the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday morning under the ticker symbol AXTA. The company's chairman and CEO Charlie Shaver rang the opening bell with four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, Jeff Gordon. Axalta has the longest-running sponsor combination relationship in NASCAR history. Shaver says being a manufacturer of auto coatings makes it an auto-related stock play like TrueCar (TRUE) and Mobileye (MBLY), both of which have risen significantly since debuting this year (The Street)(11-12-2014)
Gordon ties Martin for 2nd all-time all-time top-tens: During his 22-year Sprint Cup career, #24-Jeff Gordon has collected 453 top-10s, tied for 2nd all-time in that statistical category, with Mark Martin (453) and 260 behind Richard Petty (712). Gordon has collected 22 this season, which is tied for the series-best.(11-11-2014)
Gordon's driver's ed teacher killed in crash: A retired Indiana school principal who was #24-Jeff Gordon's driver's education teacher was killed with his wife in a Tennessee crash while returning from watching Gordon race at Matrinsville, VA. Officials say 78-year-old Larry Sparks and 77-year-old Jacqueline Sparks of Pittsboro, Indiana, died in Monday's crash. WBIR-TV reports their recreational vehicle went off Interstate 75 near Jellico, Tennessee, and ran into a tree. Larry Sparks was a teacher and principal at Tri-West High School near Indianapolis and his wife was a retired elementary teacher. District superintendent Rusty King tells WTHR-TV that Sparks loved telling people about being Gordon's driving instructor. Gordon posted Facebook messages saying he was saddened by Sparks' death.(Associated Press)(10-28-2014)
2015 team sponsorships coming together: Some top NASCAR Sprint Cup teams have sold their primary sponsorships for all of next season, but space remains on the cars of #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #5-Kasey Kahne, Carl Edwards and #15-Clint Bowyer four months before the 2015 season begins. Among the teams that have sold all their primary sponsorship for next year are #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #22-Joey Logano, #4-Kevin Harvick, #20-Matt Kenseth, #18-Kyle Busch and #11-Denny Hamlin. "It's certainly not easy finding a sponsor, but there was an abundant amount of interest in our sport and in our team," said Dave Alpern, chief marketing officer at Joe Gibbs Racing, which expands to four cars next season. Steve Newmark, president of Roush Fenway Racing, says that the three-car organization has fewer primary sponsorship openings then it did at this time a year ago. Ben Schlosser, chief marketing officer at Richard Childress Racing, says that his three-car organization also is ahead in selling sponsorships, noting some companies were willing to start negotiations earlier. "I think the climate is getting better," Newmark said. "It's not where we need to be, but I think the whole sport is doing a better job of marketing." Newmark credits more collaboration with NASCAR compared to when he arrived at Roush four years ago. Newmark also said that the team has made many changes to better serve sponsors. See more team-by team info at Motor Racing Network and check out the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Team / Driver Chart.(10-16-2014)
Gordon will be only driver to compete in all New Hampshire races: With Jeff Burton not scheduled to participate in the NHMS event, #24-Jeff Gordon will become the only driver to compete in all 40 Sprint Cup races at the New Hampshire track provided he takes the green flag Sunday.(Hendrick Motorsports)(9-18-2014)
3M partnering with Hendrick to sponsor Gordon UPDATE: 3M will join 11-time Sprint Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports beginning with the 2015 NASCAR season when it will become a primary sponsor of driver Jeff Gordon and his #24 Chevy SS team. The new relationship will feature 3M as a primary sponsor in 11 Sprint Cup races annually and as an associate-level partner in all other events. The agreement covers the 2015, 2016 and 2017 NASCAR seasons. All five of 3M's business units, which comprise more than $31 billion in annual sales, will use the sponsorship in consumer promotions, product launches and business-to-business opportunities. With more than 65 of its products used in the construction and maintenance of Sprint Cup Series race cars, 3M for decades has played a key role in the success of NASCAR teams. The company manufactures more than 80,000 different products and has been an official NASCAR partner across several categories since 1995.(Hendrick Motorsports)(8-12-2014)
UPDATE: The 3M decision now leaves Roush Fenway looking for sponsorship for Biffle, who recently signed a multiyear extension to remain with the team. "We're thankful for the 10-year relationship we've enjoyed with 3M that included some of Roush Fenway's most memorable victories," Roush Fenway President Steve Newmark said in a statement. "We have some exciting '15 partnership announcements for the No. 16 coming up in the next few weeks and look forward to sharing those soon."(Sporting News)
AND Greg Biffle tweeted Tuesday evening, "I am excited to announce our new sponsor in a few weeks!!! Wish we could do it now but you know how contracts are !!!".(8-13-2014)
Drive to End Hunger extends sponsorship of Gordon UPDATE: AARP and AARP Foundation's nationwide campaign to address the problem of older adult hunger through the Drive to End Hunger program will return with 11-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports in 2015 as a primary sponsor of driver Jeff Gordon and his #24 Chevy SS team. Through AARP's sponsorship of the #24 Chevy, the AARP Foundation's Drive to End Hunger program will be featured as a primary partner in 13 Sprint Cup races next season, including the 2015 Daytona 500, and on portions of the car as an associate sponsor in all other events. It will mark AARP's fifth year as a primary sponsor of the #24 team, which is unprecedented in NASCAR for a social cause. The priorities of Drive to End Hunger, which is supported through donations from individuals, corporations and other non-profits, are to raise awareness and funds to fight hunger among adults 50 and over and to provide short- and long-term solutions to the problem of older adult hunger.(Hendrick Motorsports)(8-8-2014)
UPDATE: Drive to End Hunger's sponsorship will decrease from 23 races this year to 13 next year. Gordon was asked Friday if there were other sponsors that would take the open races:
Gordon: "I can't say right now, but things are strong for us at Hendrick Motorsports right now. I think the last couple of years we have all been very stressed out about sponsorships and getting those deals done. Here recently a lot of positive good things have been happening. There is more to come." (Chevy PR)(8-9-2014)
Chase Elliott could run some Cup races in 2015: Rick Hendrick's plan for NASCAR Nationwide Series phenom Chase Elliott evidently entails a few NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts next season, the champion car owner said Wednesday in an interview on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The 18-year-old Elliott tops the Nationwide Series standings and leads all series regulars with three race victories. Dale Earnhardt Jr., co-owner of his JR Motorsports race team, has said that Elliott is likely to run another full season on NASCAR's No. 2 circuit next year. Hendrick, also a co-owner at JRM, sounded as if a few premier series starts will also be sprinkled into that mix. A test session in which Elliott tested the cars of Hendrick Motorsports champion drivers Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon convinced the team owner the youngster was ready, even before he took the Nationwide circuit by storm.
"We haven't arrived at a decision for sure, but I think you'll probably see him run a few races next year," Hendrick told the satellite radio network. "Before he ever won a Nationwide race, I watched him test Jimmie's car and Jeff's car at Nashville, and Jimmie and Jeff both commented to me, 'This kid is super smooth and super fast. He takes care of his equipment, and he doesn't get in a jam.' Although Hendrick currently fields four full-time cars, the maximum for one organization as allowed by NASCAR, rules do permit teams to run an additional vehicle on a limited slate for prospective rookie drivers.(NASCAR.com)(8-7-2014)
New primary sponsor for Gordon? UPDATE2: hearing that Panasonic, an associated sponsor / partner of Hendrick Motorsports will be the primary sponsor at Sonoma Raceway in June and/or New Hampshire in July. Supposedly the car will be blue and white and feature the Panasonic Toughbook mobile computers. Other races that no sponsor has been listed include Atlanta in August and Dover in Sept.(6-10-2014)
UPDATE: on the Sonoma Raceway entry list, #24-Jeff Gordon's sponsor is listed as Panasonic.(6-17-2014)
UPDATE2: Panasonic has expanded its relationship with Hendrick Motorsports with a new multi-year agreement that includes primary sponsorship of the #24 team of four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and current points leader Jeff Gordon. Panasonic will be featured as a primary sponsor of the #24 team in two Sprint Cup races annually and as an associate-level partner in all other events. It will mark the first on-car branding for Panasonic since joining Hendrick Motorsports as a technology partner in 2007. The agreement covers the 2014, 2015 and 2016 NASCAR seasons. Gordon's #24 Panasonic Chevrolet SS will debut this weekend at California's Sonoma Raceway and will again appear Aug. 31 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Panasonic's Toughbook brand will be featured on the car's quarter panels at Sonoma.
"To maximize the value of a NASCAR sponsorship, you need to partner with proven teams and drivers that exemplify your brand," said Rance Poehler, president, Panasonic System Communications Company of North America. "Hendrick Motorsports and Jeff Gordon have a record of excellence that is a perfect fit for Panasonic and its Toughbook brand. We've been a technology partner of Hendrick Motorsports for many years, and as our business evolves to solutions and deeper partnerships with our customers, it is an excellent time to extend our relationship from behind the scenes to the car on the track."
Panasonic will leverage the partnership to promote technology solutions and products for business. Hendrick Motorsports currently utilizes Panasonic technology throughout its Concord facility, including cameras, electronic displays, televisions, digital signage, Toughbook computers and projection units. The team also uses Panasonic's professional video products to support its in-house video production capabilities.
"Panasonic has a combination of world-class people and products," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "We use their technology across the organization, and it provides the best possible tools in every area, from competition to marketing to IT. To have them see more opportunities for their business and want to grow the relationship sends a very positive message." All brand and company/product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of the respective companies. All specifications are subject to change without notice. Information on Panasonic solutions for business can be obtained by calling 877-803-8492 or at us.panasonic.com/business-solutions.(HMS), see images of the scheme on the #24 Team Schemes page.(6-17-2014)
Warner Bros/DC Entertainment join forces with Hendrick Motorsports: Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP), in conjunction with DC Entertainment (DCE), has joined forces with Hendrick Motorsports in a unique three-year agreement that will allow the team and its partners to develop consumer promotions and original content to engage youth, drive fan excitement and energize licensed merchandise initiatives. WBCP and DCE will work with Hendrick Motorsports and its partners to build on- and off-track programs teaming drivers #5-Kasey Kahne, #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. with the most recognized characters in Super Hero lore, including Batman, Superman, The Flash and Green Lantern.
Potential programs include co-developed car paint schemes, comic books and digital content incorporating DC Comics Super Heroes and illustrated likenesses of Hendrick Motorsports drivers. Team partners will have exclusive opportunities to align with upcoming Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Comics-inspired programming and releases.
The first joint program will come to life around upcoming Sprint Cup events at Charlotte Motor Speedway (May 25) and Michigan International Speedway (June 15) where Superman, the world's first and most recognized Super Hero, will be featured on Earnhardt's #88 Chevy. The Superman-themed paint scheme will pair the Army National Guard with the Superman Hall of Heroes, a new online gift-giving portal that empowers consumers to honor their personal heroes; those who have made a positive impact on their lives or the lives of others. The #88 National Guard/Superman Chevrolet SS will be unveiled May 21. Fans can learn more by following Hendrick Motorsports on Facebook and Twitter.(Hendrick Motorsports)(5-15-2014)
Jeff Gordon Treatment Room Opens at Children's Blood & Cancer Center at Dell Children's Medical Center: Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation (JGCF) is pleased to announce the dedication of the newly redesigned Jeff Gordon treatment room at the Children's Blood and Cancer Center (CBCC) located in Austin, Texas. CBCC is part of the Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas -- the only dedicated, free-standing pediatric facility serving the healthcare needs of children in the 46 county Central Texas region and beyond. The Jeff Gordon treatment room -- themed winning through teamwork -- features custom graphics created by Red Eye Designs of Charlotte, NC, depicting Gordon's #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS making a pit stop at last month's race in Las Vegas. The room was repainted in a complementary color matching the iconic flame design on Gordon's car while the cabinetry features specially designed graphics that replicate the tool boxes used by the No. 24 team. The funds to sponsor the room were raised by the Austin Chapter of the JGCF Promise Circle with a significant contribution made by the Austin office of CBRE Group, Inc., a global leader in real estate services. The Promise Circle is comprised of a group of dedicated volunteers who work in their communities with leading cancer treatment centers, and their mission is to serve as advocates for children with cancer and to provide support services to these children and their families. The Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation has contributed more than $14 million to support children battling cancer and invests in research, provides access to treatment and offers patient support programs.(JeffGordon.com)(4-5-2014)
Under Armour enters NASCAR with Hendrick & MWR: The sporting goods company, Under Armour, has signed multiyear sponsorships with Hendrick Motorsports and Michael Waltrip Racing. It becomes the official apparel provider for both teams, outfitting everyone from the pit crew to the front office in Under Armour-branded apparel. The deals don't include the teams' drivers, and financial terms weren't available. Last year, Under Armour signed a one-year, trial sponsorship with Hendrick Motorsports and outfitted the team's pit crews. It opted to expand that deal this year with a three-year extension that will see it outfit not only the pit crews but the rest of Hendrick's 500 employees. It provides everything from footwear and hats to polos and pullovers. It also has branding on Hendrick pit crew members' fire suits (Under Armour does not produce fire suits) and on the team's pit wall banners, haulers, pit box and pit toolbox. The deal doesn't include Hendrick's drivers - #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson or #5-Kasey Kahne - but Under Armour does have rights to use their likeness as well as the likeness of their car and number, which it could use on apparel.
Under Armour signed with Michael Waltrip Racing because it saw similarities between its identity as an upstart brand that's challenged established apparel companies and the team's identity as a relatively new, gritty team that's pushing its way into the upper echelon of NASCAR. Terms of the two-year sponsorship are similar to the deal with Hendrick. Under Armour will supply pit crew apparel and team and executive apparel and receive the same mix of pit assets it is getting from Hendrick. It also will become the presenting sponsor of a new athletic facility and gym that MWR built at its headquarters in Cornelius, N.C., which has been branded as the MWR Performance Center Presented by Under Armour. The deal is the first apparel sponsorship for MWR. The team previously bought its apparel from Oakley.(SportsBusiness Journal)(4-1-2014)
Jeff Gordon viral "test drive" video filmed in Charlotte area: #24-Jeff Gordon is at it again. A year after his hidden camera "Test Drive" ad for Pepsi Max went viral, he went undercover again for a part two. But this one came with a twist. Gordon took a lot of flack after the first video with many people across the internet saying it wasn't real and that the entire thing was faked. One of the loudest voices - a blogger named Travis Okulski. So with the help of a friend, Gordon and Pepsi Max teamed up to shoot another video - this time with Okulski as the unexpecting "victim." Okulski was flown down to Charlotte earlier this month under false pretenses. He thought he was getting a chance to get in the brand new Corvette Z06. In order to keep things quiet, Okulski was told the project was top secret and lots of money would be lost if people knew. That's when Gordon, dress with fake neck tattoos, a wig and fake facial hair, pulled up in a cab to pick Okulski up from the motel. After a few minutes of small talk, a state trooper pulls behind the cab and Gordon said something Okulski didn't want to hear. "There's a cop behind me. I get nervous when cops are on me. I just got out after 10 years in jail." After briefing pulling over, Gordon decides to make a run for it and the real fun (and screams) begin.(see full story and view the video at WBTV)(2-27-2014)
Evernham leaves ESPN: Former crew chief Ray Evernham, who created one of NASCAR's most dominant teams in the 1990s with Jeff Gordon, will serve as a consultant to Hendrick Motorsports where he will be involved with the competition department. Evernham made the announcement Tuesday on "SiriusXM Speedway" with hosts Dave Moody and Angie Skinner. Evernham, who has served as a consultant for Hendrick Companies since 2011, also said that he no longer will be a part of ESPN's NASCAR broadcasts. "Now not doing the ESPN thing will allow me to be involved in some of the management and some of the things that they're doing at (Hendrick) Motorsports,'' Evernham told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "The best way to avoid a conflict of interest is to choose one or the other. I'm excited about being able to go and being involved in the management team on the motorsports side.'' Evernham told "SiriusXM Speedway" that he is not seeking to be a crew chief - something he's stated often in the past. He admits he will be on a pit box, though, but in a different capacity. "I'll be working with everybody at Hendrick Motorsports,'' Evernham told the show. "I've met with crew chiefs. I think I've got a good perspective as they face different challenges. I will be going to meetings and be involved in competition things that I've not been involved with in the past three years or so." Evernham said he plans to attend about 15 races - nearly the same total he worked for ESPN.(MRN)(2-5-2014)
Gordon raising awareness about whooping cough: #24-Jeff Gordon is famous for winning on the racetrack, but during his downtime he is involved in several charitable causes, including the battle against whooping cough. Gordon is an ambassador for the National Sounds of Pertussis Campaign, a campaign that helps spread the word about whooping cough and the importance of vaccination. Whooping cough is extremely contagious and can cause serious, potentially deadly illness, especially in babies. "Many babies who get whooping cough are infected by parents, older siblings, or other caregivers who might not even know they have the disease," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Anyone who comes in close contact with your baby, from older siblings and cousins to grandparents and caregivers, should be up-to-date with whooping cough vaccination."
"We as older adults aren't recognizing that immunizations we got when we were younger have now worn off," Gordon said.(Arizona Family)(11-9-2013)
Axalta Coating Systems extends sponsorship of #24 car: Axalta Coatings Systems, formerly DuPont Performance Coatings, not only launched its new brand this week, it today announced a three-year contract extension with the #24 Hendrick Motorsports team through 2016. In its 21st year of sponsorship, Hendrick Motorsports and Axalta will reach an extraordinary 24-year partnership. Currently the longest running driver, owner and sponsor combination in NASCAR, the partnership with driver Jeff Gordon has four NASCAR Cup Series championships and 87 NASCAR Sprint Cup wins to their credit. Axalta will have primary positioning on the #24 Chevy for 10 races for each of the next three years and will continue its associate sponsorship status for the remaining races.
"I'm so excited that Axalta has decided to move forward with us beyond 2013," Gordon said. "They've been with me since the beginning and I look forward to a lot more racing, some more wins and hopefully another championship with them before it's all over. And the newly rebranded Axalta company is still comprised of the same people I've been working with for more than two decades and I can't imagine my career without them. They are truly like family to me, (team owner) Rick Hendrick and this No. 24 team. I'm so excited that they're moving forward with us."
Under the DuPont Automotive Finishes banner, Axalta took a chance on a newly formed Hendrick Motorsports team with a young rookie driver starting in 1992 and has achieved much success on and off the track.
"This has truly been one of the most effective and iconic relationships in sports marketing," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "We celebrated 20 years together with a win at Homestead, and all of us look forward to many more successes with Jeff and the #24 team. The people at Axalta are like family, and we're committed to bringing even more value to the partnership." The Axalta logo will appear on the hood of the #24 Chevy for the first time this weekend at Pocono Raceway with the familiar "firestorm" paint scheme.
"We have built up so much equity in the #24 team over the years and Jeff Gordon is the best spokesperson any company could ask for," said Nigel Budden, Axalta Coating Systems North America Business Director "And like everything we do, the decision is customer driven. Our customers feel like a part of the No. 24 team after all these years, and the quality of the #24 team represents the quality of their businesses and the Axalta automotive paint products they take such pride in using."
Axalta Coating Systems has been a leading global provider of high performance coatings to the transportation industry for more than 145 years. The official Finish of NASCAR, Axalta flagship brands of fast drying automotive paint that are built for performance include Standox, Spies Hecker and DuPont Refinish. Axalta's Imron brand is the coating of choice for the heavy-duty truck industry and its Cromax Pro line is a leading environmentally friendly waterborne basecoat system.(Hendrick Motorsports), see images of the scheme on the #24 Team Schemes page.(6-6-2013)
HMS cars to carry special decal: All four Hendrick Motorsports cars: #5-Kahne, #24-Gordon, #48-Johnson & #88-Earnhardt Jr., will carry the above special decal at Kansas Speedway honoring those effected by the Boston Maraton Bombings this past Monday.(HMS Facebook)(4-21-2013)
Brother of HMS Machinist killed in Cambridge: Hendrick Motorsports Statement: The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Hendrick Motorsports are with Andrew Collier and his family. Andrew, a machinist in the Hendrick Motorsports engine department, tragically lost his brother, Officer Sean Collier, last night in Cambridge, Mass. We ask that the family's privacy be considered during this difficult time. Andrew, 25, joined Hendrick Motorsports in September 2008.(HMS)(4-19-2013)
Jeff Gordon book: If you sent a letter to Jeff Gordon in the 1990's, chances are that it was opened by Molly and Russ Harris, the founders of the Jeff Gordon National Fan Club - the largest personal touch fan club in racing. For more than a decade, they opened Jeff Gordon's mail! Molly's new book "Opening Jeff Gordon's Mail" takes readers on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Jeff Gordon National Fan Club. For more info see my NASCAR Book page.(2-13-2012)
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Las Vegas, NV
Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, March 7, 2015, 2:30 pm/et
FoxSports1 (FS1) 2:30pm/et
Born in MARCH
2 David Reutimann, Robert "Bootie" Barker, Cully Barraclough, Harold Holly, Erin Blaney, Lisa Price, Blake Mallory, Charles Comstock, Dr. Seuss
3 Bruton Smith, Dave Rodman, Chad Trickle, Tiny Lund, Donald Epling, Bill Snyder, Bobby Lord
4 Buck Baker, Rick Mast, Gary Cogswell, Pat Tryson, Chris Passantino
5 Cale Gale, Sutherlin Marlin
6 Jenny Umscheid, Bruce Martin
7 Janet Guthrie, Katelyn Benson
8 Buddy Barnes, Mark Green, Tommy Norton, Frank Parrish, Ronnie Thomas, Mark Smith, Kirk Shelmerdine, Wendy Calkins
9 Jeanne Barnes, Kevin Graves, Fred Bickford, Wilma Blevins, Danny Sullivan
10 Matt Kenseth, Mike Wallace, Roy McCauley, Ginny McClure, Kelly Denton, Randy Biggs, Louis Ossinsky Sr
11 Kathy Cindric, Albert Garwood, Derek Daly, Troy Ruttman
12 Casey Mears, John Andretti, Red Byron, Terri Brooks, Lorrie Earp
13 Jeff Spraker
14 Lee Petty, Artie Kempner, Aric Almirola, Bill Rexford, Albert Einstein, Kristen Yeley, Harold E. Holly Jr., David Poole
15 Andy Graves, Matthew Holzbaur
16 Jay Guarneri, Kevin Cywinski, Troy Andrews, Katrina Spencer, Wes Adams
17 Tom 'Tiger' Pistone, Gloria Lewis, Dee Eolin, Doug Rice
18 Mark Donohue, Ryan Truex, Alex Garcia, Jack Smith, Derrick Gilchrist
19 Brian Burns, Wyatt Dallenbach, Chris Graves, Tom Umscheid
20 Jeff Thousand, Mike Messick Jr.
21 Larry McClure, Fonty Flock, Jeff Krogh, Bob Hayden, Joe Menzer, Mike Moore
22 Marianne Fairlie, Billy Hagan, Pam Miller, Todd Trickle, Ronald Hayden, Eric Bilyeu, Mike Bodick, Jerry Wittig, Randy Heffner, Darrel Haskins, Tim Harrison
23 Andrew Fairlie, Erin Crocker, Mike McCarthy, Wes Adams, chaplain Tim Griffin, Johnny Beauchamp
24 Brenda Young, Jimmy Makar, Jim Makar, Pam Hill, Austin Petty, Scott Pruett
25 Peg Adamczyk, Danica Patrick, Dave Moody, Donnie Disharoon, Justin Marks, John Ray, Doyle Ford, Bobby Calkins, Aaron Eaton
26 Nathaniel O'Hare, Nina Feeney, Austin Green, Doug Williams, Natalee Jarrett, Dan Ford, Blaise Alexander
27 Cale Yarborough, Maurice Petty, Andy Hall, Keith Wilson, Jeff Fuller, Bob Kelly, Rodney Combs, Gary DeHart
28 Shelby Pressley, Chris Meyers, Peter Jellen
29 Kim Wood Hall, Jamie DiPietro, Carole Houchins, Olivia Andretti
30 Pam Bickford
31 Angus Young, Richard Jackson, Scott Houston, Dana White, Rocky Ryan