Gordon, wife expecting first child in July

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- NASCAR's next generation is on its way, estimated arrival in July.

Four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon said Wednesday that he and new wife Ingrid Vandebosch are expecting their first child. It will be the first child for both.

"Christmas came early for us this year," Gordon said in a statement. "This is a very special gift for us -- one that we're both looking forward to. Ingrid and I can't wait to be parents.

"We've known for a little while, but we couldn't wait any longer to share the good news with our friends and fans," he said.

Gordon announced his engagement to the Belgian model June 24 at Infineon Raceway, then won the race there the next day. The two were married in a private ceremony Nov. 7 in Mexico.

Gordon, 35, the sport's most marketable driver, and Vandebosch have been together since 2004. They appeared in the movie "Taxi," in which the 37-year-old model played a bank robber and Gordon made an uncredited cameo appearance.