Q&A: Jeff Gordon on his new Hendrick Motorsports role, Fox Sports departure and turning 50

Jeff Gordon
By Jeff Gluck Feb 15, 2022 14
Should Jeff Gordon glance skyward from pit road at Daytona International Speedway, it shouldn’t be hard to pinpoint the spot where he stood for the last six Daytona 500s.

Gordon spent those half-dozen years in the television booth for Fox Sports, peering down at the NASCAR Cup Series cars from the towering suites structure at the 2.5-mile track. But this year, he’s come back to earth.

The NASCAR Hall of Famer is no longer a TV broadcaster. Gordon began the role of Hendrick Motorsports vice chairman on Jan. 1, formalizing duties that he had already been juggling for several years. He’ll likely spend the Daytona 500 watching from atop the pit box of a Hendrick driver — be it defending series champion Kyle Larson, 2020 champion Chase Elliott, William Byron or Alex Bowman.

“Probably the biggest change has been just more time on hand during the day for him to engage,” team president Marshall Carlson said. “And he has done that in spades, which has been awesome. He’s really been looking and listening to all parts of the organization at a deeper level than he did when he was actively participating.”

No one else at Hendrick can bring the perspective Gordon can, which is why he’s been tabbed as a potential successor to team owner Rick Hendrick, though the team says no firm plan is yet in place. Gordon has seen it all from the driver’s seat, has experience working on the media side and has firsthand knowledge relating to public relations, marketing, sponsorship and business.

These days, Gordon even engages with the accounting and purchasing departments as part of his duties.

“He brings a good mindset because he’s seen all sides, right?” Elliott said.