Jeff Gordon - NASCAR Driver
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Jeff Gordon - BioIt’s not often that someone’s career path is decided at age five –- unless your name happens to be Jeff Gordon. In 1977, long before Gordon became a four-time NASCAR champion, Gordon stepped behind the wheel of his first quarter midget at the urging of his stepfather, John Bickford.
At the age of six, he won 35 main events en route to the Western States Championship. He won his first Grand National Championship in 1979. A year later, Gordon took 50 fastest time awards and 46 race wins in 50 events.
When Gordon turned 13, Bickford felt the time was right to put his stepson in the driver’s seat of a 650 horsepower sprint car for the first time. Race organizers didn’t agree, feeling Gordon was too young to run such a developed racecar. Still, preparations for Gordon’s sprint car career went on.
Gordon was finally allowed to run in Jacksonville at the All Star Florida Speedweeks, provided he started at the back of the field. He hit the wall in that first effort, but ran on a dozen tracks that year, culminating in a 12th-place effort.
Gordon’s first sprint car win came in 1986 at the KC Speedway in Chillicothe, Ohio. In all, Gordon won 22 USAC races and garnered 55 top-5 and 66 top-10 finishes. In 1990, at age 19, Gordon became the youngest USAC National Midge Champion in history. A year later, he won the USAC dirt title to become the youngest Silver Crown winner ever.
In 1991, after taking Buck Baker’s driving school at North Carolina Speedway, Jeff told his stepfather to “sell everything. We’re going stock car racing.” Gordon won three Busch Series races in 1992 before jumping to Cup racing, where he won rookie of the year honors in 1993 and the first of his four titles in 1995. Gordon also took top honors in ’97, ’98 and 2001.
Jeff Gordon - Statistics
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