Gordon covets retirement role at HMS

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Four-time Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon plans to continue in some capacity with Hendrick Motorsports after his driving career is over.

Whether that's in a managerial role or as a possible replacement for team owner Rick Hendrick, who turns 60 this season, Gordon doesn't know.

"I would like to think I have something to offer the organization past driving, and definitely would like to work something out with Rick," Gordon said on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. "This organization has been so good to me. My life has changed because of Hendrick Motorsports and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series."

Gordon already co-owns with Hendrick the No. 48 team of three-time defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson. He made it clear he has no plans to become an owner independent of Hendrick.

"I've seen how tough this business can be," Gordon said. "You want to be teamed up with the best organization. Why would I ever want to get away from this organization?"

Gordon has a lifetime contract to drive for HMS, but his contract with primary sponsor DuPont expires after the 2010 season. That has led some to speculate Gordon, 37, may step away from part of the full-time grind after that deal is done.

Gordon insists it's premature to discuss retirement other than to say when it does happen he wants to remain an active part of HMS.

"I've learned a lot about it from Rick on the business side of it," he said. "He treats the business people so good and they want to do good for him. I'd like to be able to carry on that tradition, whatever role it could be."

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.