His days are numbered! After more than 20 years in the sport, Jeff Gordon announced on Thursday, Jan. 22, that he will be retiring from NASCAR as a full-time racer after the 2015 season.
"As a race car driver, much of what I've done throughout my life has been based on following my instincts and trying to make good decisions," Gordon, 43, said in a release to Us Weekly. "I thought long and hard about my future this past year and during the offseason, and I've decided 2015 will be the last time I compete for a championship. I won't use the 'R-word' because I plan to stay extremely busy in the years ahead, and there's always the possibility I'll compete in selected events, although I currently have no plans to do that."
Despite stepping back, Gordon says he will "remain heavily involved" in NASCAR in different ways, and will still work closely with his organization, Hendrick Motorsports. Off the racetrack, he will also concentrate more on the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation.
"My passion is pediatric cancer research, and my efforts will remain focused there when I'm no longer driving," he said in his statement. "I'll explore opportunities for the next phase of my career, but my primary focus now and throughout 2015 will be my performance in the No. 24 Chevrolet." He added: "I'm going to pour everything I have into this season and look forward to the challenge of competing for one last championship."
Letting team know this will be my final year competing for a championship. pic.twitter.com/s7aH8OpGQZ
— Jeff Gordon (@JeffGordonWeb) January 22, 2015
Gordon announced the news via Twitter as well. "Letting team know this will be my final year competing for a championship," he captioned a pic of his employees at Hendrick Mortorsports. "I'm proud of the career I've had & knew this day would come, but I'll be involved with @TeamHendrick for many years to come."
Gordon began racing full-time in 1993. He's won the Sprint Cup championship four times and has placed first at the Daytona 500 three times. NASCAR listed him as one of its 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998. He and his wife Ingrid Vandebosch and their children Ella Sofia, 7, and Leo Benjamin, 4, reside in Charlotte, North Carolina.
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