Jeff Gordon’s driving career is over but he still has more to do in NASCAR
Rick Hendrick is 69 years old and operates a four-car super team in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
63% of people retire between ages 57 and 66. Meanwhile, bulk of NASCAR team owners are still at it, well past the average age of retirement.
Rick Hendrick Hendrick (age 69), Richard Childress (age 73), Jack Roush (age 76), Joe Gibbs (age 78), Roger Penske (age 81) and Richard Petty (age 81) all stand above that line. Together, they field about 25% of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series field on Sundays.
“I’ve gotta be out here at least one year longer than Roger Penske,” Hendrick told Autoweek with a smile.
“No … just kidding.”
“Really, I love this and still enjoy it so much, and it’s tied to my automotive businesses. My health is good, so I expect to be around for a long time,” the NASCAR teams owner explained.
Future of Hendrick Motorsports
In 2004, a Hendrick Motorsports plane crashed while trying to transport key members of the team to Martinsville Speedway. The plane missed the landed at Blue Ridge Airport. It was a foggy day and the plane veered off course before crashing into a mountain area.
Ten people lost their lives in that plane crash including the two pilots. And it also changed the future of the race team.
HMS president John Hendrick and his two daughters lost their lives. Rick Hendrick also lost his son Ricky Hendrick. Ricky was set to take over the reigns of the team down the line.
Now, Rick Hendrick has a new plan to keep his team on the track for many years to come. Jeff Gordon is already the owner of the #48 machine. He became the team owner of the 4th Hendrick car during a time when owners were only allowed to own three cars.
For years, the #48 of Jimmie Johnson and the #24 of Jeff Gordon operated in a building separate building within Hendrick Motorsports.
Jeff Gordon tried to retire from his driving career following the 2015 season. However, as Dale Earnhardt Jr recovered from injuries in 2016, Gordon jumped in the seat of the #88 to fill-n. He ran his last race at Martinsville Speedway, finishing 6th.
Before retirement, Jeff Gordon claimed 93 wins over 805 races. Jeff Gordon is now 47 but he’ll be involved with the sport for many years to come. Especially if Rick Hendrick’s plan come to be.
“That’s the way we’re going,” Hendrick said. “Whenever I finally step away, it’ll be Jeff Gordon in my place.”