Thursday Daytona Notebook: Jeff Gordon Faces Big Hurdle To Occasional Racing After 2015

(NASCAR Wire Service)

By Reid Spencer ~ NASCAR Wire Service

Jeff Gordon  (Photo: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)

Jeff Gordon (Photo: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.—Never say never.

Though Jeff Gordon has left the door cracked ever so slightly when it comes to a possible appearance on the track after 2015, he’s more likely to end his competitive role in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing at the end of the season.

“I have too much respect for other drivers that have ended their career or said they were going to end their career of driving the Cup cars and then they come back and want to run some more races,” Gordon said Thursday morning at Daytona prior to practice for Sunday’s Daytona 500 (1 p.m. on FOX). “I feel like because I have so much respect for those guys, I felt like it was necessary for me to leave those options open.

“But when I start really thinking about it from a realistic standpoint, what I love about racing is not going out there and driving fast and driving race cars. I like competing at a high level to win. If I felt like I could go to a Brickyard or a Martinsville or Bristol or–I don’t know, a couple of tracks that come to mind and be competitive with a competitive team—then I might consider doing that.”

When Gordon started enumerating the obstacles to an occasional return to competition, however, the probability of a reappearance on track after 2015 started to sound far less likely, though he did allow that he’d enjoy racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway if he had a competitive car.

“You can’t do it at Hendrick really,” Gordon said. “The way I see it, there are four teams there (at Hendrick Motorsports) that are focused on winning the championship, so it would be a disruption to that flow. Then you have to have somebody as a car owner, you have to team up with somebody to pull together a team. Pull together good cars and engines and (make) sure we have the resources there.

“Then you have to get sponsors. I don’t see it happening, but if I were to do it, if it did become a reality, certainly Indianapolis would be pretty high on my list of tracks. It would have to be something non-restricted, and it would have to be a place that I feel like I can make a difference and really be competitive at. Indianapolis is one of those tracks that come to mind.”


NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Michael Waltrip and Denny Hamlin displayed their skills at another sport on Wednesday morning, during a FOX Sports/USGA gathering in the Daytona International Speedway infield.

Drivers, media members and professional golfers Brad Faxon, Paula Creamer and Marco Dawson took turns trying to hit a small floating green in Lake Lloyd from a distance of 85 yards. Predictably, a pro won the overall competition. Dawson hit the 20-by-20-foot green with two of his three attempts and won a $10,000 donation to charity, which he designated for The First Tee.

Hamlin, a lefty, and Waltrip, who swings from the right side, tied for the lead among drivers after the first round. Waltrip won the playoff by sticking a wedge shot 5 feet from the flag.


Only five drivers chose to participate in Thursday afternoon’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at Daytona International Speedway, and Kyle Larson’s No. 42 Chevrolet was the only car to run more than seven laps in the 85-minute session.

On the 17th of 18 laps of single-car runs, Larson posted the fastest speed of the session—192.699 mph. Cole Whitt, who ran seven laps, was second fastest at 190.710 mph, followed by Michael Annett, JJ Yeley and Jeb Burton.

Danica Patrick, who wrecked early in Wednesday’s opening NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, did not participate in Thursday’s session. Patrick ran 13 laps in Wednesday’s second practice in her backup No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet.

Follow RaceDayCT On FacebookFollow RaceDayCT On Twitter

Leave a Reply

Copyright 2018 E-Media Sports

Website Designed by Thirty Marketing