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Jeff Gordon to become full-time TV analyst for Fox in 2016

Jeff Gordon will take on a full-time analyst job with Fox in 2016, when he will join Mike Joy and Darrell Waltrip in the three-man booth.

Gordon, who signed a multiyear contract with Fox, is retiring at the end of this season. The four-time NASCAR champion is in his 23rd full-time year in the Sprint Cup Series.

"NASCAR has provided me so many incredible memories, experiences and opportunities throughout my 23 years as a driver, and I can't wait to start a new chapter in racing with this new relationship with Fox," Gordon said Thursday. "I feel so lucky to be a part of a sport that I'm very passionate about, and now I get the opportunity to share that passion to millions of race fans from a whole new perspective."

Gordon, who already has been an analyst in the Fox booth for three Xfinity Series races this season, will begin his new job later this year by giving in-race reports during select races.

His first race in the booth will be next February from Daytona International Speedway. He will replace Larry McReynolds, who will move to an in-race analyst role alongside Michael Waltrip and host Chris Myers.

Fox and Fox Sports 1 have the first 16 points races of the season plus the preseason race at Daytona and All-Star Race in Charlotte.

Gordon qualified 18th for Sunday night's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Gordon said he plans to remain working at Hendrick Motorsports in an unspecified capacity in 2016. It is not unprecedented in NASCAR for members of the broadcast team to have roles with racing organizations -- Michael Waltrip is co-owner of a Cup organization.

"It's something that I would never want to overstep the boundaries, so I'm going to be conscious of it, and I'll probably have a conversation with the drivers and the teams about it," Gordon said. "But I also feel like it's going to help me stay current and up to speed on knowledge of knowing what is going on.

"As long as I'm not sharing too many details, I think in general it's going to be a huge advantage for me to have that tie to Hendrick to bring some of that [knowledge] to the booth."

Eric Shanks, president of Fox Sports, believes adding Gordon to the booth gives viewers a perspective they haven't seen in some time. He noted how Gordon won the pole for the Cup race at Talladega earlier this month, then immediately went to the booth to comment on the Xfinity Series race.

"The things that you see and are able to tell the fans and observe for the fans, when you are that close, and that relevant, from getting out of the car, is really unique," Shanks said. "It's great to be able to get somebody who will be able to tell you exactly what it's like to try to pass Kevin Harvick or hold off Kevin Harvick."

Gordon's reach expands far beyond racing. He is largely credited with bringing NASCAR to a mainstream audience, and he is the only driver to ever host "Saturday Night Live." He has been a co-host on "Live! With Regis and Kelly" more than 10 times, and has appeared as himself on "The Simpsons," "Spin City" and "The Drew Carey Show."

Information from The Associated Press and ESPN.com's Bob Pockrass was used in this report.