Jeff Gordon will be leaving Fox Sports to assume a daily role as vice chairman at Hendrick Motorsports, the second-ranking official for majority owner Rick Hendrick.
Wednesday’s announcement places the four-time champion and Hall of Famer in a position to succeed the 71 year-old Hendrick at top of NASCAR’s most winning organization.
Gordon will officially assume the role of executive manager at the beginning of 2022.
Hendrick stated that Jeff and I have been talking about this for years and that it was a natural progression for our company and him. He understands our culture and values and how important we place on our employees and our partnerships. I could not be more excited about working side-by-side with him and cementing Hendrick Motorsports’ future together.
Gordon joined Hendrick Motorsports in 1992 for the final Cup race. This was the beginning of one of the most remarkable careers in NASCAR. He won 93 races, which was third on the all time list. He also won four Cup titles. He retired in 2015.
He was a Fox Sports reporter the following year, but he continued to be involved with Fox Sports as Hendrick’s sole partner in the 13-time champion organization. Gordon was listed as coowner of the No. 48 car and became an equity owner at Hendrick. It was the 48th car to be built for Jimmie Johnson, seven-time NASCAR Champion.
Gordon stated, “It’s hard to put into words how Hendrick Motorsports is important to me.” It’s my home, and the people are my family. My passion for the sport and the organization has never wavered. I love the challenge of racing at the highest level and the thrill of winning.
Gordon also assisted in the incorporation of Kyle Larson into Hendrick’s organization. This was after Larson’s nearly season-long NASCAR suspension due to uttering an racial slur at a virtual race. Larson is the Cup Series leader with four wins and has been in the victory lane in four consecutive Cup races. Six consecutive Hendrick drivers won races since the May 16 victory at Dover, Alex Bowman took over the No. Johnson’s switch to IndyCar resulted in Johnson winning 48 races this season.
His business acumen has always impressed me. He’s been involved on some level in all major decisions we’ve made over two decades. His influence has continued growing since he quit driving,” Hendrick, also the CEO of Hendrick Automotive Group said about Gordon.
Gordon, who is vice chairman and coowner of the company, will be working daily with the team to focus on the competition and marketing groups. He will report directly to Rick Hendrick, and will work with Marshall Carlson and Jeff Andrews as general manager.
Gordon will join Hendrick on NASCAR’s team owners council and take Hendrick Motorsports’ seat on the sanctioning body’s diversity, equity, and inclusion committee.
Gordon stated, “Being part in the competition is where my heart is most content and I feel that I can make the greatest contribution to the long-term success” of the team. Rick and I share a common vision based on his values, culture, and desire to excel in all categories on the track.
Hendrick Motorsports is the first NASCAR team to announce its long-term succession plans. The top Cup teams are not young. Roger Penske is 84 years old, Joe Gibbs 80, Jack Roush 79, Richard Childress 75, and Jack Roush 79.
Hendrick turns 72 on July 31st; Gordon turns 50 on August 31st.
Hendrick stated that he loves racing and competing and Jeff is the only one I know who doesn’t hate losing as much as me. “I feel good physically and have no plans of going anywhere soon. Which is precisely why it’s the right moment.”
Hendrick passed Petty Enterprises last month as the winningest NASCAR team when Larson won the 269th Cup for HMS. To make it 271 wins, he’s won two more points races.
Gordon will continue his work as a Fox broadcaster until the end of 2011.