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Gordon to leave Fox Sports booth for daily role at Hendrick

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – Jeff Gordon will be leaving the Fox Sports booth to take on a daily role at Hendrick Motorsports as Vice President and Second Line Manager of Majority Owner Rick Hendrick’s team.

Wednesday’s announcement positions the four-time champion and Hall of Famer to one day succeed Hendrick, 71, atop NASCAR’s most successful organization.

Gordon will officially begin the executive leadership role in early 2022.

“Jeff and I have been talking about this for many years and I think it’s a natural evolution for him and our business,” said Hendrick. “He understands our culture, our values ​​and the importance we place on our people and our partnerships. I couldn’t be more excited to work hand in hand with him and cement together the future of Hendrick Motorsports. “

Gordon joined Hendrick Motorsports for the last Cup race of the 1992 season and launched one of the greatest careers in NASCAR history. He won 93 races – third on the all-time list – and four Cup titles before retiring in 2015.

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He joined the Fox Sports booth the following year, but maintained an active role with the team as Hendrick’s only partner in organizing the championship on 13 occasions. Gordon became a shareholder of Hendrick in 1999 and was listed as a part-owner of the No. 48 car when it was created in 2001 for seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson.

“I can’t express what Hendrick Motorsports means to me,” Gordon said. “This is my home and the people here are my family. I have never lost my passion for organization, for our sport and for the simple challenge of running and winning at the highest level.

Gordon has also been active in bringing Kyle Larson into the Hendrick organization this year following Larson’s most-season-long NASCAR suspension for uttering a racial slur during a virtual race. Larson has been on the winning streak in four consecutive Cup races and leads the Cup series with four wins on points. The Hendrick drivers have won six consecutive races since the May 16 victory at Dover by Alex Bowman, who took over the No.48 this season after Johnson’s switch to IndyCar.

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“I have always been impressed by his commercial instinct. At some level, he’s been involved in every major decision we’ve made over the past two decades, and his influence has grown steadily since he quit driving, ”said Hendrick, who is also CEO of Hendrick Automotive Group, on Gordon.

As Vice President and Co-Owner, Gordon will work with the team on a daily basis, focusing on the organization’s competition and marketing groups. He will report to Rick Hendrick and will work alongside President Marshall Carlson and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Andrews.

Gordon will also join Hendrick on the NASCAR Team Owners Council and serve as Hendrick Motorsports’ seat on the sanctioning body’s diversity, equity and inclusion committee.

“Being a part of the competition is where I’m happiest and I feel I can make the biggest contribution to the team’s continued and long-term success,” said Gordon. “Rick and I have a common vision, which is based on the values ​​he instilled, the culture he built and our desire to be the best in all categories, on and off the track.

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Hendrick Motorsports becomes the first NASCAR team to share their long-term succession plan. The group of owners of the best teams in the Cup are not young: Roger Penske is 84, Joe Gibbs is 80, Jack Roush is 79 and Richard Childress is 75.

Hendrick will be 72 in July; Gordon will be 50 in August.

“I love to run and compete, and Jeff is the only person I know who hates losing as much as I do,” said Hendrick. “I am feeling great physically and have no plans to go anywhere anytime soon, which is exactly why now is the right time.”

Last month, Hendrick overtook Petty Enterprises as the most successful team in NASCAR history when Larson claimed the 269th Cup victory for HMS. He has since won two more points races to bring the total to 271 wins.

Gordon will continue to work as a Fox broadcaster until the end of the year.

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Rodney N.

The author Rodney N.