A long-awaited move has come to fruition within the walls of Hendrick Motorsports.
First confirmed by the Athletic, Four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon will move into a larger executive role at Hendrick Motorsports, being named the vice-chairman of the organization on Wednesday.
Gordon will assume the role formally on Jan. 1, 2022. Rick Hendrick, the team’s namesake, will remain with the organization as he currently stands.
“I cannot put into words what Hendrick Motorsports means to me,” Gordon said. “In many ways, it’s my home and the people here are my family. I’ve never lost my passion for the organization, for our sport, and for the sheer challenge of racing and winning at the highest level. Being part of the competition is where I’m happiest and feel I can make the biggest contribution to the continued, long-term success of the team. Rick and I have a shared vision, which is based on the values he’s instilled, the culture he’s built and our desire to be the very best in all categories, on and off the track.”
Gordon has been an equity owner of the organization since 1999. During his time at NASCAR’s premier team, Gordon won a whopping 93 times and delivered four of Hendrick’s 13 Cup Series champion. Gordon is also tied to seven of those through Jimmie Johnson, who Gordon discovered in the Xfinity Series, and presented the talent to Rick Hendrick.
The move has been a question of not if it would ever happen, but when.
Hendrick Motorsports is enjoying a banner season thus far, with all four cars locked into the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, and HMS accounted for eight of 17 race wins in 2021. Kyle Larson has earned four points-paying wins in 2021, as well as winning the 2021 NASCAR All-Star Race in Texas. Larson is also responsible for a win in Charlotte, that sealed Hendrick Motorsports as the all-time winningest organization in Cup Series history.
“Jeff and I have talked about this for many years, and I feel it’s a natural evolution for him and our company,” said Hendrick, 71, who is also chairman and CEO of Hendrick Automotive Group. “I’ve always been impressed with his business instincts. On some level, he’s been involved in every major decision we’ve made over the last two decades, and his influence has continued to grow since he stopped driving. He understands our culture, our values, and the importance we place on our people and our partnerships.”
Following his retirement from full-time driving in 2015, Gordon moved into a broadcasting role with FOX Sports, serving as an analyst besides Darrell Waltrip and Mike Joy. After Waltrip left the booth following 2019, Joy and Gordon spent one season together before being joined by Clint Bowyer in 2021.
I admired him on the track, in the booth and every single time I was fortunate enough to stand next to him on set. Doesn’t get any better or classier than @JeffGordonWeb. Congrats. https://t.co/6Nu0Y7NqTo
— Shannon Spake (@ShannonSpake) June 23, 2021
“I cannot thank the entire FOX Sports family enough for the incredible opportunity I’ve had over the past six seasons,” Gordon said. “I’ve come to truly appreciate the responsibility of bringing the sport to our fans and the tremendous work that goes into our broadcasts each and every week. I’m certainly going to miss it, but I will forever be grateful to FOX for the experience and for the trust they’ve placed in me. It’s been a privilege to work with such a talented group of people.”
Plans for the FOX Sports booth for 2022 are to be announced at a later date.