Hendrick Motorsports 2018 car reveal Thursday at NHOF On Oct. 5 in Charlotte, North Carolina, 12-time NASCAR Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports will reveal the 2018 Daytona 500 primary paint schemes for all four of its Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 teams. It will mark the first time Hendrick Motorsports has unveiled all four of its Daytona 500 cars together and the first official appearance of the team's 2018 driver lineup:
- Chase Elliott and the #9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
- William Byron and the #24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
- Jimmie Johnson and the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
- Alex Bowman and the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
The event is open to fans via the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Information on how fans can attend is available at the NHOF website. The event will also be streamed live on NASCAR.com and the Hendrick Motorsports Facebook page.(Hendrick Motorsports / NASCAR Hall of Fame)[Read More Here](10-3-2017)
Sunday Dover Notebook - Ryan Newman falls just short in bid to advance in Playoff The post-mortem on the run that eliminated Ryan Newman from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff boils down to three simple words-not good enough. Newman left Dover International Speedway with a 13th-place finish in Sunday's Apache Warrior 400, a result that left him two points short of advancing to the Playoff's Round of 12. Thanks to a fortunate bit of race strategy that garnered seven points in the first stage of the race, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., not Newman, survives to fight another day. Newman also played a role in the outcome of the race. As eventual winner Kyle Busch was closing on then-leader Chase Elliott, Newman was running in front of Elliott, trying desperately to remain on the lead lap. Busch overtook Elliott with just over one lap left, and that led to a testy post-race exchange between Newman and Jeff Gordon, who preceded Elliott in the #24 Chevrolet and still has a piece of the action at Hendrick Motorsports.
KURT BUSCH'S HORRIBLE LUCK CONTINUES AT DOVER Kurt Busch entered the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff buoyed by three straight top-five finishes and looked to be a lock to advance to the Round of 12. Then his season fell apart. At Chicagoland, it was a loose wheel and a pit road speeding penalty. At New Hampshire, it was a race-ending wreck in a dense cloud of smoke, after Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kevin Harvick was turned in front of him. And on Sunday at Dover, it was an ill-handling car on long runs, an inopportune caution that trapped Busch two laps down and a subsequent commitment line violation.
TO NO ONE'S SURPRISE, JIMMIE JOHNSON FOUND SPEED AT DOVER Suffice it to say, Sunday's run in the Apache Warrior 400 at Dover International Speedway was a major source of encouragement for Jimmie Johnson, who found enough speed to post his fourth top-five finish of the season and advance comfortably into the Round of 12 of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff.(NASCAR Wire Service)[See Full Notes Here](10-2-2017)
Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation Establishes $2 Million Endowed Chair Carolinas HealthCare System announced today a charitable commitment from the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation establishing a $2 million endowed chair in support of academic and research efforts at Levine Children's Hospital. The funds will be designated to create the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation Endowed Chair in Cancer and Blood Disorders. Moving forward is second nature for philanthropist and four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, whose competitive spirit not only helped him emerge as a leader in the racing world, but in the race to find a cure for cancer. As the need for comprehensive cancer care in the region continues to grow, philanthropic support from donors and organizations such as the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation will help ensure that patients have access to world class care, regardless of where they live. To help support kids battling cancer and the efforts of the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation, you can learn more and donate at www.jeffgordonchildrensfoundation.org..[Read More Here](9-27-2017)
Johnson, Dale Jr. and Gordon help out Sam Bass NASCAR licensed artist Sam Bass has opened a GoFundMe.com account to try and raise $350,000 for a kidney and pancreas transplant. Bass has waged on an ongoing battle against medical issues resulting from his diabetes. You can donate to Bass' account by clicking here.(FoxSports)[More](4-22-2017)
Jeff Gordon to drive Daytona 500 pace car: Three-time Daytona 500 winner and four-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champ Jeff Gordon will lead the field to the start of Sunday's Daytona 500 behind the wheel of the new 2017 Camaro ZL1 pace car.[More](2-24-2017)
Gordon willing to sub, but wants Bowman to be first choice: Four-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon said he would be willing to return as a replacement driver for Hendrick Motorsports if needed in an extreme circumstance, but believes 23-year-old Alex Bowman should have the opportunity. Gordon replaced Dale Earnhardt Jr. in eight Cup races last season as Earnhardt experienced a recurrence of concussion. Bowman, who does not have a NASCAR ride this season, replaced Earnhardt 10 times, and scored three top-10 finishes. He won the pole and had a best finish of sixth at Phoenix International Raceway after leading 194 laps. Bowman's lone scheduled Cup start is in the exhibition Clash in the #88 Chevrolet because of the Phoenix pole. "I think that you're looking at Alex Bowman, who has done an excellent job stepping in," Gordon told USA TODAY Sports. "He's in a position with Hendrick Motorsports doing a lot of simulation work and debriefs. He did a great job behind the wheel last year. So, I think that a lot of it had to do with they weren't real sure what the scenario was going to be with Alex and then also with sponsors or how long Junior was going to be out, so that was a pretty unique scenario. And I think it would have to be a very unique one for me to step in (in 2017.)"(USA Today)(1-28-2017)
Gordon readies for racing return, aiming for elusive Rolex 24 victory: Jeff Gordon doesn't just pay attention to details. He's a details hound - meticulous, precise - even for a guy who's retired. "I never said I was retiring," Gordon said. That was a big detail to remember Friday as Gordon drove a sleek, new Cadillac prototype on a sun-drenched Daytona International Speedway. He turned laps on the road course in preparation for the upcoming Rolex 24, the twice-around-the-clock pinnacle of American sports car racing. The race isn't until Jan. 28-29, but Gordon needs all of the track time he can get right now. "I treat this as if I am a rookie," said the 45-year-old Gordon, a description that's profound, even if it's inaccurate. His "rookie" stripes are obscured by his numbers. Before he stopped racing full-time after the 2015 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, Gordon won 93 races and three Daytona 500s. And combined with his four championships, Gordon's resume makes him a sure-fire, first-ballot NASCAR Hall of Famer when eligible. But Gordon knows that one superlative is lacking from his racing resume -- a coveted Rolex 24 win. His only Rolex start came in 2007, when he finished third overall as a member of Wayne Taylor Racing. Ten years later, he's back with Taylor, co-driving the #10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R with veteran Max Angelelli and Taylor's sons, Ricky and Jordan. And it's not a joy ride for Gordon, whose full-time racing career ended after the 2015 NASCAR season. "I'm pushing myself to be as strong as I can possibly be," Gordon said. "I never like to be the weak link in an organization or a team and I have three phenomenal drivers who are going to push me. I'm enjoying it very much and having fun, but this is a race I'd like to win." That presents a special challenge for Gordon, who quickly learned last November that IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship racing isn't easy. When he first tested the new Cadillac at the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course, he was stunned by the G-forces, the acceleration, the braking.(MRN/NASCAR Wire Service)(1-8-2017)
Jeff Gordon tests for Rolex 24: Once again, Jeff Gordon has come out of retirement and once again he's in the Rolex 24 At Daytona field. As a high-profile part of the Wayne Taylor Racing lineup that will co-drive a new Cadillac DPi in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship's headlining Prototype class, Gordon is at Daytona International Speedway this week for a two-day test session in advance of the Jan. 28-29 sports car endurance classic. Gordon will co-drive the #10 Cadillac with Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor and Max Angelelli. It will be Gordon's second appearance in the Rolex 24; in 2007 he co-drove a Pontiac Riley with Angelelli, Wayne Taylor and Jan Magnussen to a third-place finish. "I had so much fun the first time I did this," Gordon said. "And at this point of my life and career [winning the Rolex 24] would be huge. When I came here in 2007 I was just kind of along for the ride. When you really realize how important this race is, is on race day when you see the hype and buildup and then the challenges you face over 24 hours. That's what makes this race so thrilling. I'd be very proud [if we won]." This week's test is the second of three preseason sessions for the Rolex 24, IMSA's season-opening event. The first test was Nov. 15-16. The final test will be the annual "Roar Before the Rolex 24" on Jan. 6-8.(DIS)(12-14-2016)
Johnson, Gordon gear up for 'high-spirited races' on Disney Junior: Disney Junior is racing into the new year with "Mickey and the Roadster Racers," a car-racing adventure series for preschoolers, featuring Mickey Mouse and his Disney friends, along with several NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers, including Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon. The first episode of the series -- which features Johnson's animated character -- will premier Sunday, Jan. 15 at 9:00am/et and 9:25am/et on Disney Channel and Disney Junior, respectively. Two additional episodes will air Monday, Jan. 16 at 9:00am/et and 9:25am/et on Disney Channel. Episodes will also be available on the Disney Junior app and Disney Junior VOD, as well as on iTunes. The series follows Mickey, his friends and their transforming vehicles as they race around the world and in their hometown of Hot Dog Hills. Off the track, Minnie and Daisy Duck run the Happy Helpers business, offering a helping hand to anyone in need. Johnson and Gordon appear as recurring race car drivers Jiminy Johnson and Gordon Gear, respectively. The two join a star-studded guest cast which includes Jay Leno, Gordon Ramsay and Hoda Kotb, among others. Designed for children ages two to seven, the episodes and story lines are geared toward teaching kids social and emotional lessons about friendship, teamwork, optimism and good sportsmanship.(HMS)(12-6-2016)
Jeff Gordon to run the Rolex 24 at Daytona: Four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, who was part of the driver lineup when Wayne Taylor Racing (WTR) competed in its very first race in 2007, returns to join full-time co-drivers of the all-new No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R Ricky and Jordan Taylor and veteran Italian Max "The Ax" Angelelli for next month's 55th Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship 2017 season opener.(Wayne Taylor Racing)(12-1-2016)
Jeff Gordon on 'Destiny' to Be Race Car Driver, New Biography: The four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon reflected back on his illustrious career, and his personal life in the spotlight, in an interview with Michael Strahan that aired today on ABC News' "Good Morning America."
"It was sort of my destiny to, to be a race car driver," the three-time Daytona 500 winner said. "I mean, I have been at the racetrack probably every weekend just about since I was maybe 6 or 7 years old." Gordon said that his biography, "Jeff Gordon: His Dream, Drive, and Destiny," which came out last week, offers fans a candid glimpse at many aspects of his personal life, from his childhood to his highly-publicized relationship with his ex-wife. He said what he thinks will surprise fans the most in his book is how hard his parents had to work in order for him to be able to pursue his dreams.(for more and the video, see ABC Sports)(12-1-2016)
Gordon's final race? UPDATE: Sunday will mark four-time champion Jeff Gordon's final scheduled NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start. Gordon will be driving the blue-and-silver #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS this weekend. His career began on Nov. 15, 1992, at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Richard Petty's final start. From 1992 through 2015, Gordon made 797 consecutive starts and racked up 93 wins, 325 top-five and 475 top-10 finishes in addition to his four championships. This weekend's race at Martinsville Speedway will be his eighth race filling in for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2016. On Nov. 1, 2015, Gordon led the final 22 laps at Martinsville Speedway en route to his ninth win at the Virginia short track and his 93rd career Cup victory. The defending race winner leads all active Cup drivers in wins (nine, third on the all-time list), poles (seven, second on the all-time list), top-five finishes (29), and laps led (3,779, second on the all-time list). He is tied with Richard Petty for the most top-10 Cup finishes of all time with 37, and holds the all-time record for lead-lap finishes (38) and for the least DNFs, having been running at the finish in every single one of his 46 races at the half-mile paperclip.(Hendrick Motorsports)
AND: If Gordon leads 64 laps on Sunday, he will become only the sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver all-time to lead 25,000 or more laps, joining NASCAR Hall of Famers Petty, Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison, Dale Earnhardt and David Pearson.(NASCAR)(10-27-2016)
UPDATE: Gordon talked to the media Friday at Martinsville Speedway and was asked if this was his final race;
Gordon: "Your guess is as good as mine. I can promise you I had no intentions of this happening, but here I am. Never say never is all I know what to say. I really don't think that I will be getting back in the Cup car again, but go ask Rick Hendrick. That really has more to do with him than anything else. I hope in the future that the drivers don't have a situation like what we had with (Dale Earnhardt) Junior where they need somebody to fill in for them. This little bit of experience has been kind of good for me, good for the organization and we have had a little bit of fun with it as well. If I had to do it, then certainly I would, but I don't anticipate it."(Team Chevy PR)(10-29-2016)
Jeff Gordon Named Grand Marshal For The NWES Finals: In what will be a historic moment for the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and NASCAR fans all over Europe, 4-time NASCAR Champion Jeff Gordon is scheduled to visit the Euro-NASCAR Finals in Zolder [Belgium] on Sunday, October 9th and serve as Grand Marshal for the ELITE 1 race that will determine the European Champion title. "I've been to Zolder before, and I am really looking forward to seeing the NASCAR Euro Series race there," said Gordon, who will say the 'Most Famous Words In Motorsports' at 16:04 CET, just before the NWES cars will roll off the grid for the last race of the 2016 season. "I've become friends with (series points leader) Anthony Kumpen and I've heard great things about the series popularity. I'm looking forward to seeing it first hand." It will be the first time Gordon will serve as Grand Marshal for a NASCAR race, further cementing the unique bond between the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and NASCAR in the US. Current points leader and 2014 NWES Champion Anthony Kumpen, who drives the #24 Chevrolet SS in the Old Continent, feels honoured to have the chance to battle for the Euro NASCAR title if front of Gordon. After a hugely successful first edition in 2015, the October 8-9 American Festival Circuit Zolder NASCAR Finals promise to be even bigger and better. Action-packed races and a wide variety of American-themed attractions will delight the fans and the event will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv. Live updates from the track will be available on the NASCAR Home Tracks Race Central Live page, on the @EuroNASCAR Twitter profile and on the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series official Facebook page.(Motorsports Unplugged)(10-5-2016)
Gordon explains #88 driver schedule for rest of year: Sunday's race will mark the fifth for Jeff Gordon in place of Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is out for the rest of the season while recovering from a concussion. Hendrick Motorsports announced Friday the #88 Chevrolet will be split for the final 12 races between Alex Bowman and Gordon. The four-time series champion will race Earnhardt's car in the next two races at Darlington and Richmond before turning the car over to Bowman for 10 of the last 12 races. Gordon will race again at Dover and Martinsville - tracks where he has combined for 14 victories. Though the schedule lines up well with his strengths, Gordon said it wasn't solely set by his preference. Bowman will race New Hampshire Motor Speedway because he already filled in for Earnhardt there in July. Because of schedule conflicts, Gordon can't race at some 1.5-mile tracks, so it made more sense to keep Bowman at all of them.
"It'd be best for the team for him to be in all of those," Gordon said. "We know he's a talented driver, too, and want to see what he's capable of doing. He does a lot of work in the simulator for us. Matching up actual race data and conditions to the simulator helps us develop the simulator, too." Making the schedule was a collaborative effort involving The input from multiple sources. "It's a combination of what's best for the team, what's best for the sponsors and sort of Junior's wishes as well," Gordon said. "He's big on Alex Bowman, and the team has really enjoyed having him in the car. We want to make sure our sponsors are getting everything out of it as well. They do a lot for us.(NBC Sports)(9-4-2016)
Earnhardt, Jr. to miss remainder of the season: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Chevrolet SS for Hendrick Motorsports, has not been medically cleared to compete for the remainder of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season as he continues to recover from a concussion. Earnhardt has missed the last six Sprint Cup races while undergoing treatment. He has been regularly evaluated at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program under the direction of Dr. Micky Collins and with Charlotte neurosurgeon Dr. Jerry Petty.
"I wish I could return to the #88 team this season," Earnhardt said. "To say I'm disappointed doesn't begin to describe how I feel, but I know this is the right thing for my long-term health and career. I'm 100 percent focused on my recovery, and I will continue to follow everything the doctors tell me. They're seeing good progress in my test results, and I'm feeling that progress physically. I plan to be healthy and ready to compete at Daytona in February. I'm working toward that.
"The support from both inside and outside the race team has been overwhelming. Everyone has been so encouraging and positive, from my teammates and sponsors to my family, friends and fans. It's motivating and humbling at the same time."
Jeff Gordon and Alex Bowman will drive for the #88 team in the season's 12 remaining races. In Earnhardt's absence, four-time Cup Series champion Gordon, 45, filled in at Indianapolis, Pocono, Watkins Glen and Bristol. Bowman, 23, drove at New Hampshire and Michigan.
"I know how hard Dale has worked and how frustrating this is for him," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "He wants to be back, and we want him back, but we want it to be for the long haul. We've had incredible support from everyone involved with the team, including all of our sponsors. They've put Dale's health first every step of the way."
"Jeff and Alex will give us a great opportunity over the rest of the season. Jeff is one of the best of all time and knows our system. He brings things to the table that no one else can. Alex is a young driver with a lot of talent, and he will give us a fresh perspective. We know they're not only capable of running up front and giving us a chance to win, but they'll help us get better."(Hendrick Motorsports)(9-2-2016)
Earnhardt Jr. to miss next two races: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports, has not been cleared by physicians to compete in at least the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events as he continues to recover from a concussion. Earnhardt, who will miss the races at Michigan (Aug. 28) and Darlington (Sept. 4), underwent further evaluation today at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program. "We know how hard Dale is working to get back," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "He's following what the doctors are saying, to the letter, and doing exactly what he needs to do. Everyone wants to see him in a race car, but his health is first and foremost. We're behind him." Alex Bowman, who drove the #88 Chevrolet in Earnhardt's absence July 17 at New Hampshire, will be the team's substitute driver this weekend at Michigan. He has four career Sprint Cup starts at the track. Four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon will return to the #88 team at Darlington, where his seven wins lead all active drivers. Gordon has driven the last four races for Earnhardt -- at Indy, Pocono, Watkins Glen and Bristol.(Hendrick Motorsports)(8-24-2016)
Gordon will not race at Michigan: NBC Sports Dustin Long tweeted that Jeff Gordon says he will NOT race the #88 car next week at Michigan because of a prior commitment.
UPDATE: Jeff Gordon says he will not drive the #88 Chevy for Dale Earnhardt Jr. next weekend at Michigan because of a prior commitment. "I didn't know I was going to be doing all of this," Gordon said. Gordon would not say what the commitment was but said he would only be at Michigan on race day. Hendrick Motorsports confirmed that Alex Bowman will drive the #88 at Michigan if Earnhardt is unable to race. Bowman drove for Earnhardt last month at New Hampshire and finished 26th. Earnhardt has not said what his status for Michigan is. Thursday, Earnhardt posted a series of pictures and videos on his Instagram account showing some of the physical and mental exercises he is doing to aid his recovery. Gordon said it's simple why he's not driving at Michigan. "I can't be there all weekend," he said. Gordon said he would be available to run in the Southern 500 at Darlington if Earnhardt was still unable to be back in the car by the Sept. 4 race.(NBC Sports)(8-19-2016)
Gordon wins go-kart race at Knoxville: Jeff Gordon returned to Knoxville, Iowa, and won Thursday's Weld Racing Go-Kart Spectacular, an event that raised money for pediatric cancer research. Gordon was joined by Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Larson, who each have ties to sprint car racing, to compete against fans at Slideways Karting Center just one mile north of Knoxville Raceway, where this week's 56th annual 5-hour Energy Knoxville Nationals is being held. All proceeds from the fourth annual event, which saw race fans donate to compete against the Cup drivers, went to Kick-It, a partner of the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation. Driving a kart painted to look like the first sprint car he raced in 1985, Gordon became the first two-time winner of the event after battling Stewart in the final laps. "That was amazing," Gordon said. "If you don't think we take this seriously, what you just saw was as competitive as it can get. That was so much fun. I think I got a blister, but it was all worth it."(Motor Racing Network)(8-13-2016)
Gordon unsure what caused seat belt problems: Jeff Gordon was looking for a good finish in the Pennsylvania 400 subbing for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the #88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet when his day came undone. Literally. Gordon had overcome a pit-road speeding penalty at Pocono Raceway and was restarting in seventh-place on Lap 110 when he had an extremely unusual problem: His right-side seat belt came undone in the cockpit of his racecar. With no choice other than to slow way down to fix the problem, Gordon fell all the way from seventh back to 27th as he reached around to connect the errant belts in his car. And that's where he finished.
"It's the first time I've ever had that happen with this type of mechanism where you just plug it in and it latches," said Gordon. "I thought I had it latched because it happened actually on pit road one time," said Gordon. "And I got it latched and lost some time. And then we were in a pretty good position on the restart and went to take off and as soon as I went into second (gear) and third, just that little bit of a side movement just pulled it out. It would go in and sort of latch, but when you wiggled it from left to right, it would pop right out."
"I knew I couldn't go down into Turn 1 on these crazy restarts without a right-side seat belt," said Gordon. "So, I came in under that stop. We worked on it and now it's good. I have no clue. It's unfortunate."(Fox Sports)(8-2-2016)
Gordon says he will remain in #88 if needed: Jeff Gordon met with the media at Pocono Raceway Friday morning:
How long are you prepared to fill-in? Is there a plan for Watkins Glen
Gordon: "Well, we have to cross that bridge when we get there. It seems like... it was great last Friday to see him say 'hey I feel good today and made some progress.' We want to just keep going with how he is feeling. The doctors are evaluating. I'm not speculating anything at this time. I wouldn't be here in Pocono if I wasn't committed to be there for Hendrick Motorsports and this team in any way that they need me. I think there is a balance between trying to make this transition. First of all you want Dale to have the comfort of knowing that somebody is there for him. He doesn't have to worry about that aspect of it through this process. Just get well at the pace that is the right pace to do it. So, nobody is putting any pressure or time frame on that. He may be putting that on himself more than anybody else. Then there is the side of who is the best person to be in the car to get the most points. And then there is the sponsorship side of it as well. So far from what Rick (Hendrick) is telling me that seems to be me. That is why I was at Indy and that is why I'm here. I thought Alex Bowman did an excellent job at New Hampshire. I tell you after going through what I went through at Indy I have a much greater appreciation for him because that was one of the toughest things I ever did. Not just getting in the race car after eight months, but trying to fill-in for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. knowing the kind of attention that it gets. My heart was beating out of my chest because of the pressure and the eyes that were on you as much as just not being in the car. Great job to Alex. I will be here as long as they need me. I say that very loosely." (Chevy PR)(7-29-2016)
Stewart, Gordon take final lap together at Indianapolis: The two Indiana favorites didn't win the Brickyard 400 -- far from it. But Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon gave the fans at Indianapolis Motor Speedway the highlight of the race minutes after the checkered flag dropped on the Kyle Busch victory Sunday afternoon. Stewart and Gordon took a ceremonial lap driving side-by-side in what is expected to be their final race in the state that has celebrated their racing prowess. After they parked on pit road, Gordon went over to Stewart and gave him a hug.
"For us to share that moment together, I mean that's probably our last lap around here in a professional race, and I'll cherish that moment," Stewart said. "It's something that doesn't happen very often. It was pretty cool. ... We're never going to get that chance to do that again."
"Tony and I have gone through a lot over the years, but he and I have become really good friends," Gordon said. "I was with him when he got hurt this year. ... I learned a lot about Tony Stewart. He's driven. He's tough. To see him in that pain I saw him in and come back and win Sonoma [last month] and be out here driving like this with a chance at a championship when this whole thing is over, that's impressive."(ESPN.com)(7-25-2016)
Gordon enjoys return to racing; restarts provided challenge: Gordon was driving the #88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in a substitute role for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who has suffered concussion-like symptoms in recent weeks and was advised by doctors not to race until he recovers. The unexpected opportunity was also a stern reminder for Gordon of the level of competition he left behind last November when he transitioned to the FOX Sports television booth. Though he lost ground repeatedly on restarts, however, Gordon finished a respectable 13th on Sunday.
"Wow-the challenges to be out there against the best, especially on those restarts," said Gordon, who also will sub for Earnhardt next Sunday at Pocono. "I got my butt kicked on those restarts. It was embarrassing. While I will fill in for Dale Jr., and I hope he's doing good, I needed a fill-in on restarts. It was pretty bad. Other than that, I thought it went really well. I really liked working with (crew chief) Greg (Ives) and this whole #88 team. ... We just couldn't get the track position. It was pretty tough to pass. And I didn't want to see those cautions there at the end. But, I'm going to need some practice on restarts for Pocono anyway."(NASCAR Wire Service)(7-25-2016)
Earnhardt Jr. sensing improvement: #88- Dale Earnhardt Jr. indicated Friday he is feeling a little better as he battles balance issues and nausea believed to be from concussions. Earnhardt, who has been working with doctors for the past 10 days, will miss his second consecutive race this weekend. "Today is the 1st day in many that I sensed improvement," Earnhardt tweeted Friday morning. "Seen small gains during my physical therapy as well. Light at the end of the tunnel." Earnhardt was replaced by one his Xfinity Series drivers, Alex Bowman, last week at New Hampshire and will be replaced by four-time Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon this weekend at Indianapolis and next week at Pocono. There is no timetable for Earnhardt's return.(ESPN.com)
AND: Hendrick Motorsports held a press conference Friday morning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Jeff Gordon and Rick Hendrick. A few notes:
• Gordon says he has done everything he can do to prepare for the race this weekend. Heat will a concern, but he feels ready.
• Hendrick says Earnhardt, Jr. is "getting antsy" but he is going to follow doctor's orders.
• Gordon say he "didn't have to think twice" about filling in for the team.
• Gordon has not made a commitment for any races beyond Pocono. They will wait and see Earnhardt, Jr's status.
• Gordon was asked to fill in for Tony Stewart at Daytona, but could not do it because of his commitment to Fox.
• The biggest issue for Gordon will be to remember to pull into the #88 pit on Sunday and not into the #24 out of habit.
• Gordon had planned to drive the pace car on Sunday before the opportunity to drive came up.
Gordon's return could impact Hall of Fame admission: Jeff Gordon's return to Sprint Cup racing could impact his NASCAR Hall of Fame eligibility. He was on track to be nominated, after the required two years of retirement for a driver under 55, in 2018 for the 2019 class. NASCAR will have to determine if this two-race (at least) substitute role in place of Dale Earnhardt Jr. will push him into first being eligible to be nominated in 2019 for the 2020 class.(ESPN.com)(7-21-2016)
Earnhardt, Jr. to miss at least two more races; Gordon to sub: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Chevrolet SS for Hendrick Motorsports, has not been cleared by physicians to compete in at least the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events as he continues to recover from concussion-like symptoms. He will miss the races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Pocono Raceway. Four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon will be the team's substitute driver at Indianapolis and Pocono. He most recently raced in the 2015 Sprint Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Gordon, who grew up in Pittsboro, Indiana, ranks third all-time with 93 career victories in the series, including six at Pocono and five in the Brickyard 400 - both records. Earnhardt underwent further evaluation Tuesday at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program. The driver said this week on his "The Dale Jr. Download" podcast that he has been experiencing issues with balance and nausea. He will not travel to Indianapolis or Pocono. "Our focus is giving Dale all the time he needs to recover," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "There's nothing we want more than to see him back in the race car, but we'll continue to listen to the doctors and follow their lead. What's best for Dale is what's best for Hendrick Motorsports and everyone involved with the team. We're all proud of him and looking forward to having him racing soon." Gordon, 44, has made all 797 of his career Cup starts for car owner Hendrick. He competed in his 23rd and final full-time Sprint Cup Series season in 2015. "Jeff's a team player," Hendrick said. "I know he'll be ready, and I know Dale has incredible trust in him. It's going to be an emotional weekend (at Indianapolis) with Dale not being there and seeing Jeff back behind the wheel. Greg (Ives) and the team did a great job at New Hampshire, and they have the full support of our organization."(Hendrick Motorsports)(7-20-2016)
Hendrick Motorsports talks about Dale Jr's status: Hendrick Motorsports general manager Doug Duchardt, #88-Crew Chief Greg Ives and Alex Bowman talked to the media at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Friday morning. Some notes:
After Earnhardt, Jr. continued to feel bad last weekend at Kentucky, the initial plan was for him to start this weekend's New Hampshire race and be relieved by Alex Bowman;
Friday afternoon it was determined that Earnhardt, Jr. would not be able to race at all this weekend;
Duchardt says they won't speculate on the long term impact of this on Earnhardt, Jr's career;
Should Earnhardt, Jr. not be able to race next week, Jeff Gordon will drive the #88 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway;
The #88 driver after Indianapolis (if needed) has not been determined. A decision will be made around Wednesday next week.;
Earnhardt, Jr. will need approval from a independent, board-certified neurologist before he is allowed to return.
Live With Kelly and... Jeff Gordon? UPDATE: Retired racing legend Jeff Gordon has zoomed to the top of ABC's short list to succeed Michael Strahan as Kelly Ripa's new Live co-host, TVLine has learned. Gordon has experience sitting alongside Ripa. During the Live With Regis and Kelly era, he served as Ripa's sidekick nine times. (He even did a stint opposite Reege in 2001 before Ripa came on board). He most recently appeared on the show in June 2015, but just as a guest. Since retiring from professional stock car racing in 2015, the 44-year-old Gordon has transitioned into broadcasting (he currently serves as a Fox NASCAR analyst). Should he snag the Live gig, his career path would closely mirror that of the man he'd be replacing; Strahan, who exited Live last month for a full-time gig at Good Morning America, also segued into broadcasting after retiring from the NFL. Live is expected to continue pairing Ripa with a parade of guest co-hosts until a final decision is made later this summer. Other names in the permanent co-host mix include former Grinder star Rob Lowe and Ripa's BFF Anderson Cooper. Gordon's spokesperson, declined TVLine's request for comment.(TVLine)(6-18-2016)
UPDATE: Jeff Gordon talks about possible talk show gig: On Saturday morning at Sonoma Raceway, Jeff Gordon affirmed his commitment to his position as an analyst in the FOX Sports television booth. But that doesn't mean Gordon is ruling out moonlighting as co-host for "Live with Kelly." Prevalent rumors have Gordon on the short list to fill the role of departed Michael Strahan as Kelly Ripa's sidekick on the show. "Well, I'm flattered that my name has been associated with that," said Gordon, who has filled in as an occasional co-host of the show. "You know, I've always maintained a great friendship with the show and some of the producers and folks within the show. I had a great time co-hosting on that show, and I mean, I certainly would welcome it. My priority is FOX and FOX Sports and NASCAR, so I will definitely be back in the booth next year. If there was something that would fit into and around that-great. I don't know if that's a reality, but it's been really interesting kind of seeing that unfold. I really don't have anything that I can say about it."(NASCAR Wire Service and see an Q&A at the Charlotte Observer)(6-26-2016)
Jeff Gordon publishing first authorized biography: Jeff Gordon, four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and current FOX NASCAR broadcast analyst, is publishing his first-ever authorized biography in October. "I purposely waited until I retired from driving so the book would encompass my entire career," says Gordon. "People are going to be able to read about me like they've never read about me before." The authorized biography, "Jeff Gordon: His Dream, Drive & Destiny" is being written by Joe Garner, the five-time New York Times bestselling author of such popular hardcover collections as "And The Crowd Goes Wild" and "100 Yards of Glory." Gordon and Garner first worked together in 2006 on the multimedia book titled "Speed, Guts, & Glory," about landmark moments in NASCAR history. Garner was given unprecedented access. "What truly impressed me in the making of this book is the time Jeff invested. There are so many books with very little time invested by the drivers, but Jeff gave me unparalleled access at the race track, at special events - and at his home - over the past 15 months," says Garner. The book is based on those extensive interviews with Gordon - as well as in-depth interviews with dozens of family members, friends, competitors, and colleagues, some of whom have never gone on the record before. "He put nothing off-limits and encouraged the people to speak honestly," says Garner. "And Jeff speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about his childhood, his much publicized divorce, those he competed against, his family, and life after racing." "Jeff Gordon: His Dream, Drive & Destiny" is scheduled to be released on October 18th, 2016.(JeffGordon.com)(5-6-2016)
Jeff Gordon would consider racing at Le Mans: Jeff Gordon may be recently retired but has not given up on the idea of one day competing in the Le Mans 24 Hours sportscar race. "I've always said that if the right opportunity came along I would like to," Gordon, who will be a member of Fox's broadcast team for Sunday's Daytona 500, told Reuters. "When it comes to competing and racing I don't take it for granted of what it takes to be competitive. I wouldn't do any (type) racing if I couldn't fully prepare for and I couldn't bring something to that team to enhance the their chances of winning. If I feel healthy enough with my back. Physically fit enough to handle the (high gravity forces) ... make the lap times. It would be definitely be the goal." Gordon is also keeping a close eye on Formula One as he is friends with triple F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton and would like to watch the Mercedes driver compete live later this year. "We're working out on it," said Gordon. "When I saw Lewis the other day I told him I want to repay him (for the friendship). I want to be there in Abu Dhabi - when he wins his next championship or battles for the championship. That's what I'm working towards."(Reuters)(2-20-2016)
NC Governor honors Gordon: Gov. Pat McCrory surprised NASCAR champion and North Carolina resident Jeff Gordon by awarding him with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest award the governor can bestow, according to a news release from the governor's office. McCrory celebrated Gordon's achievements and the contributions of the motorsports industry to North Carolina at a banquet with nearly 400 business leaders, elected officials and members of the motorsports community. "Jeff Gordon has been a tremendous ambassador of motorsports, NASCAR and North Carolina," said McCrory. "We are not only recognizing Jeff tonight for his performance on the racetrack, but also for his philanthropic work in communities across our state and nation." Off the track, Gordon' philanthropic efforts supported pediatric cancer research, treatment and patient support programs through the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation and the Jeff Gordon Children's Hospital in Concord. McCrory also discussed the contributions of the motorsports industry to North Carolina's economy. "NASCAR and the motorsports industry are a major part of our state's identity and our economy," said McCrory. "In fact, the motorsports industry has a $6 billion economic impact on North Carolina and employs more than 25,000 people in our state."(WSOC)(1-15-2016)
Jeff Gordon Ready for FOX's NASCAR Booth: With fewer than 50 days remaining until the Daytona 500 on FOX, planning for the FOX portion of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season is in full swing. This year, of course, marks the full-time broadcasting debut of four-time Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, who will join veteran broadcasters Mike Joy and Darrell Waltrip in the FOX NASCAR booth beginning in February with Daytona Speedweeks. See Jeff Gordon interview / Q&A / Photos at FOX Sports and/or FOX Sports (1-5-2016)