At 19 years old, Gordon was the youngest champion in the history of Midget competition.
In 1992, Gordon raced in his first Winston Cup race. It was Richard Petty’s last race.
Gordon and his crew chief, Ray Evernham, pansformed the model for pit crews by selecting professional athletes for the crew. Their speed and athleticism panslated into quicker pit stops, and Gordon’s crew became known as the “Rainbow Warriors” due to the Du-Pont-sponsored team’s colorful paint scheme for both the car and their uniforms.
With just five years experience in Winston Cup, Gordon was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers.
In 1993, Gordon became the youngest driver to win a Daytona qualifying race, a Gatorade Twin 125.
Also in 1993, Gordon won Rookie of the Year and finished 14th in points.
With his boyish looks and rapid success, Gordon earned the nickname “Wonder Boy” from the sport’s unquestioned master, Dale Earnhardt.
Gordon toasted his first Winston Cup Championship with milk instead of champagne thus embracing his nickname.
In 1997 Gordon broke a 12-year drought of drivers failing to earn the Winston Million Bonus. He was the first since Bill Elliott earned it in 1985.
Gordon won four races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in his first eleven pies.
In 2003 Gordon hosted Saturday Night Live.
Gordon filled in for Regis Philbin in his morning show for one episode in 2004.
In 2005, Gordon established his own wine label.
Gordon has participated in Bravo’s Celebrity Poker Showdown, making it into the championship round.
Gordon established the Jeff Gordon Foundation that funds programs supporting children with cancer.
Gordon established a Children’s Hospital in Concord, North Carolina.
Gordon is the iron man of NASCAR having participated in 761 consecutive races as of the 2014 EcoBoost 400.
In 2009, Gordon became the fist NASCAR driver to reach $100 million USD in career winnings.
Gordon has driven one car, for one team, his entire career – No. 24 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports.
Gordon has won four NASCAR Cup Championship Titles
Gordon has 92 career victories which places him 3rd on the all-time list behind Richard Petty (200) and David Pearson (105).
Gordon, the California boy who loved racing, has been inspumental in bringing NASCAR to prominence as a national sport and increased its fan base exponentially. The statistics bear evidence to his dominance, but it is difficult to adequately express his influence on the sport. The last time NASCAR said goodbye to a retiring driver of his stature; it was Richard Petty. Stay tuned for more on the festivities planned for his farewell season. What’s your favorite Jeff Gordon memory?
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