The NASCAR Hall of Fame’s next class will be voted on next Wednesday with the five new inductees announced later that night. Among the nominees is four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon, who made the list in his first year of eligibility.
Gordon retired from full-time competition at the end of the 2015 season, and the assumption by many is that he’s a lock for the 2019 Hall of Fame class.
“On one hand I’m excited. On the other hand, I’m like too young to go into the Hall of Fame or have a throwback paint scheme,” Gordon said, referencing Friday’s announcement that William Byron will pay homage to his iconic No. 24 rainbow scheme on throwback weekend at Darlington.
“I’m really just kind of waiting until next week. I’m trying not to think too much about it.”
When the 2018 class was inducted in January, Gordon played a part in Ray Evernham’s celebration. Evernham had been Gordon’s crew chief for three of his championships (1995, ’97, ’98) and 47 victories. The pair were often considered the team to beat during the ‘90s.
Gordon has also been on hand for other Hall of Fame nights, including when Rick Hendrick was inducted in 2017. Always considered a Hall of Fame driver, it’s a matter of when his name will be called.
In 805 career starts, Gordon had 93 wins, including multiple victories in the sport’s biggest races: the Daytona 500, Coca-Cola 600, Brickyard 400 and Southern 500. Gordon also won at every active Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series track except for one: Kentucky. And in what is now the Xfinity Series, Gordon won five times in 73 starts.
“I’ve gone to the Hall of Fame for the inductions many times and seen some great speeches and legends in our sport, so whenever that day comes [for me] it’s a huge honor,” said Gordon. “I’m thankful that timing has definitely been on my side … and 10 or 15 years ago the Hall of Fame was not what it is today. It’s pretty special.
“The Hall and the museum and all that goes on. But that ceremony now – what it means to be in the Hall of Fame is on a whole other level than what it’s ever been. Whenever that day comes, I’m going to be very proud.”