Jeff Gordon is set to leave FOX for a job in the front office at Hendrick Motorsports. As of January 1, 2022, the NASCAR Hall of Fame driver will be the team’s new vice chairman. A four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, Gordon will be second only to majority owner Rick Hendrick.
The 49-year-old works as an announcer for FOX NASCAR at the moment, having raced from 1993 to 2015. Gordon represented Hendrick Motorsports in the NASCAR Cup Series and was a substitute driver for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2016.
He joined FOX on the back of his retirement that same year and will stick to his duties until the end of 2021.
“I cannot put into words what Hendrick Motorsports means to me,” the former driver said in a team press release. “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 also made sure to thank his current employers, admitting he will miss being an announcer and will always be grateful to the broadcast company for giving him such an opportunity.
“I cannot thank the entire FOX Sports family enough for the incredible opportunity I’ve had over the past six seasons,” he added. “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.”
FOX Chief Executive Officer and Executive Producer Eric Shanks has wished Gordon the best following the news of his impending move.
“Just like he did on the track, Jeff distinguished himself as an all-time winner on our FOX Sports team,” Shanks said. “While we are sad to see him go, everyone at FOX Sports wishes Jeff nothing but continued success.”
Hendrick Motorsports has been the most successful NASCAR team around and their driver, Kyle Larson, leads the power rankings. Larson is the favorite for the Pocono Organics on the weekend and odds on the race could be found on all of the popular sports betting apps.
Meanwhile, Gordon is set to report to Hendrick and work with team president Marshall Carlson and general manager Jeff Andrews. He will also be part of the team owner council and take over the company’s seat on the diversity, equality and inclusion committee.
The Hall of Famer had previously expressed a desire to return to Hendrick Motorsports in another role.
“I love the business side of it,” he said in 2019. “If that day ever comes, I would be truly honored even though I don’t think I could do the job that he’s done, I would be truly honored to take that role on.
“As I say that, that would be the first time other than when my parents made me sweep floors and run the machine shop when I was a kid during summers where I actually had a real job,” he added. “… Running a race team or being in that role on a race team, that is a real job. … That role Rick would have to put me in is one I would have to work at really, really hard. I hope one day when that time comes, I would be ready to do that.”
He became an equity owner of the team in 1999 and is still the only partner in the organization. He was listed as the owner of the No.48 Chevrolet when Jimmie Johnson started out with Hendrick Motorsports in 2001.
Hendrick, though, says he has no plans on lessening his role as co-owner of the team despite the development, one he said has been in the pipeline for years.
“I’ve always been impressed with his business instincts,” Hendrick said of Gordon. “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.
“I love racing and competing, and Jeff is the only person I know who hates to lose as much as I do. I feel great physically and have no plans to go anywhere anytime soon, which is exactly why it’s the right time. In the years to come, I couldn’t be more energized about working arm-in-arm with him and cementing the future of Hendrick Motorsports together.”