Thursday, January 22, 2015

Reaction in NASCAR to Jeff Gordon's announcement 2015 will be his last fulltime season

Mark Reuss, General Motors executive vice president
of global product development, purchasing and supply chain

   “Jeff Gordon is an incredible competitor, leader and ambassador for Chevrolet and motorsports. He has contributed so much – not only on the track with his 92 wins and four championships, but also away from the track as a businessman, with the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation, and more importantly, as a husband and father. He is a champion, and he has been a great friend. We are proud of our relationship with Jeff, and, just like all of his fans, we look forward to watching him compete for one more championship. We wish Jeff and his family – Ingrid, Ella and Leo – all of the best.” 

NASCAR Statement from Brian France, NASCAR Chairman

and Chief Executive Officer, on Jeff Gordon
   DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 22, 2015) – “Jeff Gordon transcends NASCAR and will be celebrated as one of the greatest drivers to ever race. We have all enjoyed watching his legend grow for more than two decades, and will continue to do so during his final full-time season. His prolonged excellence and unmatched class continue to earn him the admiration of fans across the globe. Today’s announcement is a bittersweet one. I’ll miss his competitive fire on a weekly basis, but I am also happy for Jeff and his family as they start a new chapter. On behalf of the entire NASCAR family, I thank Jeff for his years of dedication and genuine love for this sport, and wish him the very best in his final season.”

Darrell Waltrip, NASCAR on FOX analyst
  Four-time NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES champion Jeff Gordon announced today that 2015 will be his final, fulltime season behind the wheel.  Below, NASCAR on FOX analyst and Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds react to the news:

   “Jeff’s accomplishments off the track are impressive, but his numbers on the track are unbelievable.  I call him the ‘GOAT’ – the Greatest of All Time.  I believe he is the greatest NASCAR driver there has ever been. What he has done outside the sport has grown the sport’s popularity immensely.  I give Jeff a tremendous amount of credit for the youth movement in NASCAR.  A lot of people think NASCAR started in 1992, because that’s when he came on the scene and brought in a new, young audience because he appealed to the 18-35-year-old demographic.  We didn’t really have a driver at the time who could do that. 

   “I think Jeff has something left to prove in 2015. I think he’d like to win 100 races, but he knows that might be a stretch. It’s hard to win four in a season, let alone eight.  And of course, he’d like to another championship. A part-time Jeff Gordon behind the wheel isn’t a bad thing, either.  When I was at the end of my career, there were some tracks I still enjoyed competing on – and even would today.  Jeff has stayed with Rick his entire career and has been committed to that organization.  Their relationship has paid huge dividends.  Jeff has driven the same number with the same team for his entire career, a continuity that reminds me a lot of the Petty era.”

 Larry McReynolds, NASCAR on FOX analyst
   “I applaud the fact he is going out as a competitive race car driver.  He won’t be out there just riding around to finish out his career. We all know Jeff Gordon well enough to know he wants to win more races and maybe another Daytona 500 and another Brickyard 400.  As close as he came last year in the championship, you know he wants to be a player in the championship when we get to Homestead this year.

   “Jeff changed the personality and perception of a race car driver in NASCAR.  Before he came along, the perception was more about the good old Southeastern boy wearing blue jeans, big belt buckles and boots.  But he created a new buzz in our sport because he looked like he stepped off the cover of a GQ magazine.  Dale Earnhardt was a huge watershed in our sport because he showed everyone that while NASCAR is what he does on the track, it’s also a big business because people wanted to buy his merchandise. Then Jeff Gordon came along and created a new mark as far as the perception of what a driver is. He has made so many strides outside the race car for this sport, not the least of which is his charitable work over the years.  That part definitely won’t stop when he gets out of the car. Nor will his tremendous legacy.”


   FORT WORTH, Texas (Jan. 22, 2015) - Statement from Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage on the announcement that 2015 will be Jeff Gordon's last season as a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver. 

   "I've known Jeff since he was a teenager with a really bad mustache. It has been thrilling to watch him develop from a promising Busch Series driver into perhaps the greatest professional our sport has ever seen. Jeff showed last season that he still has a burning desire to win races and championships. You won't find a finer professional, person or charitable athlete.  We have been fortunate to be associated with him for all of these years. I'm sure all fans, even of the other drivers, will want to show their appreciation to Jeff this year."

Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell
   “I think with the announcement of 2015 being Jeff Gordon’s last full-time year behind the wheel, we all need to stop and say ‘thank you Jeff’. His contributions to this sport are so numerous it would be a blanket ‘thank you’ for everything.

   “Primarily he helped to take NASCAR to another level. He was a young kid from the Midwest with a lot of potential, coming in here in 1993, starting his career when our “King” was winding his up. He arrived on the scene at a perfect time.

   “I looked at his stats here at Martinsville and was truly shocked. I knew he was good here but not until I saw his record did I realize just how good he is here. Forty-four starts, eight wins, 35 top 10s, 28 top 5s, no DNFs and out of the 44 starts he led in 34 of them. That is an amazing record. Jeff Gordon is a class act and I wish him the best this year as well as whatever the future holds for him.”

 Sonoma Raceway President and General Manager Steve Page
   “As promoters we are supposed to be neutral observers, but given his local roots and the tremendous success he’s had at our track, I must admit Jeff Gordon has always been looked upon as the home team around here.  If he were to win our race in June on his way to his fifth Sprint Cup Series championship, it would likely be a huge cause for celebration among our local race fans.  We look forward to helping Jeff celebrate the culmination of a remarkable sports career.”

    "Not only is Jeff one of the greatest drivers to ever race, he's one of the classiest guys in the sport. I will always remember having dinner with him one night in Jackson, just talking about our families and swapping racing stories. Even for me, as a 20 plus year veteran in the sport and a track president, it is a memory I will never forget. He embodies everything that's right in NASCAR and a true champion. I wish him and Ingrid the very best as they plan the next chapter, and look forward to one last season with him before he retires."