One of the superstars of NASCAR – and a four-time champion — “announced today that 2015 will be his last season as a full-time driver,” reports Fox News.
The driver is Jeff Gordon.
The story continues, “In fact, it could be the last year he drives at all, but [Gordon is] not ready to say he’ll never race again. ‘[There’s] always the possibility I’ll compete in selected events, although I currently have no plans to do that,’ he said.
“The 43-year-old won four races in 2014 and finished the season in sixth place.” In all-time wins, Gordon ranks No. 3, with 92.
Says USA Today, Gordon’s “impact on NASCAR goes far beyond the numbers. Gordon’s clean-cut, corporate image and youthful good looks helped stock car racing expand out of the Southeast in the late 1990s and 2000s, taking the sport to new heights and ushering in a wave of drivers who grew up wanting to be like him.”
Writes Matt Crossman on the website of Rolling Stone, “Stories this week about Gordon off the track will be just as prevalent as stories about him on it. The stories will say how utterly normal he is, that however rich and famous he became, he never turned into a jerk, he never treated people like trash, he never stopped being the kind of guy who might suddenly break into song.
“And that might prove to be his greatest legacy.
“At the exact time NASCAR needed a star to take the sport out of the Southeast and into the world at large, Gordon appeared. He presented himself and NASCAR to the masses, and NASCAR is immeasurably better for it. Wonder Boy, as he was derisively called back then, made every appearance, smiled through every commercial, charmed every interviewer.”
Jeff Gordon in an Interview Last Year with Larry King