Jeff Gordon

Jeffrey Michael Gordon began racing quarter midgets at the age of five.  By six, he had won 35 main events and set five track records.

Born in Vallejo, California on this date in 1971, he won 51 quarter midget races at age eight and at eleven won all 25 of his karting races.  He began racing in sprint cars in 1986, winning three times and was awarded a USAC license at age 16, the youngest driver to do so.  His family moved from Vallejo to Pittsboro, Indiana to provide him with more racing opportunities.  He was awarded USAC Midget Car Racing Rookie of the Year before his 18th birthday and won the USAC national Midget title in 1990.  He captured the USAC Silver Crown in 1991 and at the age of 20 became the youngest driver to win the season championship.  Gordon began racing in the NASCAR Busch Series full time in 1991 and ’92 for Bill Davis Racing and was named Rookie of the Year in 1991.  He switched to Sprint Cup Series and began driving the No. 24 car full-time in the 1993 Winston Cup season, winning the first race of his rookie year, the Gatorade Twin 125’s race, a preliminary event to the Daytona 500.  He won the Rookie of the Year Award that season and his success helped pave the way for younger drivers in NASCAR.  His first Cup Series win came in Charlotte at the 1994 Coca-Cola 600.

Dale Earnhardt gave him the nickname “Wonder Boy” and it was fitting, as Gordon went on to win four Sprint Cup championships.  He won the Daytona 500 three times, is third on the all-time Cup wins list with 92 in his career and his 80 pole positions lead all active drivers and is third all-time. Gordon holds the NASCAR record by winning at least one pole in 23 consecutive seasons and is the active iron man leader for consecutive starts with 778.  He also has 463 top ten finishes in his 24 year career.  NASCAR named him to its 50 Greatest Drivers list in 1998 and ESPN ranked him 10th on its list of “25 Greatest Drivers of All-Time” ten years later. listed him as the 5th best NASCAR driver of all time.  Mr. Gordon co-owns the No. 48 Chevrolet driven by Jimmie Johnson, who won six Cup championships between 2006 and 2013.

Jeff Gordon and former F1 driver Michael Schumacher are the only two drivers to win five times at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a single racing series and in 2009 Gordon became the first NASCAR driver to top $ 100 million in career winnings.  He was inducted into the National Midget Car Racing Hall of Fame, Watkins Glen International Hall of Fame, is a three-time recipient of the NASCAR Illustrated Person of the Year Award and received the Silver Buffalo Award, the Boy Scouts of America’s highest honor, in 2009.

He plans on retiring from competitive racing at the end of this season and has a chance to break Ricky Rudd’s record of all-time consecutive starts [788] in September of this year.  Fox Sports has hired him as a full-time color analyst starting in 2016.