and rebuilt a 1933 Ford sedan when he was a teenager. He used a motor
he had hand-built for the pickup he drove in high school.
At 19, Jeff was
the youngest national champion in the history of Midget competition.
his first Indy 500 in 1983. Tom Sneva won the race.
Winston Cup race, in 1992, was Richard Petty’s last.
At 21, Jeff was
history’s youngest winner of the 125-mile Daytona qualifying
winner’s check at the 1994 Brickyard 400 was the largest in
NASCAR history at the time.
Million bonus in 1997 was the first since Bill Elliott won the mega-bonus
teased Jeff publicly when he cried after his 1993 Daytona qualifying
win. In 1998, Earnhardt shed a tear after finally winning the Daytona
500. Yes, he admitted, he had “pulled a Gordon.”
17 consecutive Top 5 finishes in 1998, the longest streak of the
Winston Cup era.
In 2005 Jeff won
a $1 million bonus for being the top-ranked driver outside the Chase.
Jeff and Ingrid
were married at the end of the 2006 racing season. A few weeks later,
they announced she was pregnant. Their baby, Ella
Sofia, was born in June 2007.
Ingrid was featured,
along with the spouses of other top athletes, in the 2008 Swimsuit
Edition of Sports
In 2006, Jeff
and teammates Max Angelelli and Wayne Taylor finished third in the
24 Hours of Daytona race.
In 2007, Jeff,
Jimmie Johnson and their crew chiefs were penalized by NASCAR for
illegal front-end modifications
of the Car of Tomorrow
designed. The drivers were docked 100 points each, while Steve
Letarte and Chad Knaus were banned from the track for six races.
the 2007 Daytona 500 10th despite being involved in a wild, last-lap
In 2007, Jeff
won the Pole for the first official Car of Tomorrow race, at Bristol.
2007, Jeff established a new modern-day record when he surpassed
Darrell Waltrip’s 59 career Poles. That year he also passed
Dale Earnhardt on the all-time win list with his 77th victory,
Top 10 finishes in 2007 set a new modern-day NASCAR mark. He eclipsed
his own record of 28, set in
Jeff was chosen
by EA Sports as the “cover boy” for
its NASCAR 09 video game.
When Jeff was
12, he made extra cash at races selling Jeff Gordon
t-shirts. These are among the racing world’s most highly
prized collectibles today.
Jeff says his
Lap 198 pass of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. at Daytona in 2005—without
benefit of a draft—was the finest of his career.
It took more than
60 years for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to have its first four-time
winner at the Indy 500, AJ Foyt. Jeff won his fourth race there in
his 11th try.
chief, Robbie Loomis, was in the pits for three Winston Cup victories
before teaming with Jeff—two by Bobby Hamilton and one with
Jeff and Jimmie Johnson first became friends when Jeff admired his aggressive
driving at Darlington in 1998. In 2004, they traveled together with
their girlfriends to Spain, New York and the Bahamas.
TV show is Friends. His favorite video game is Tiger Woods
his own wine label in 2005.
Jeff hosted Saturday
Night Live in 2003. In 2004, he filled in for Regis Philbin
Off the racetrack,
Jeff has never had an accident—when moving forward. He admits
to having backed into a few things.
Jeff, who stands
5-7, says the athlete he’d most like to swap places with is
7-1 Shaquille O’Neal.
If racing hadn’t
worked out for Jeff, he says he would have tried to get into the
on Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown. He won in his preliminary game,
beating Angie Dickinson, Kathy Griffin, Penn Jillette and Ron Livingston.
In the championship round, he was matched against fellow winners
David Cross, Steve Harris, Seth Meyers and Dave Navarro. Jeff was
the first to exit.