Jeff Gordon, Clearly Suffering From a Racing Addiction, Plans 24 Hours With a Cadillac

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
jeff gordon clearly suffering from a racing addiction plans 24 hours with a

Automotive athletes tend to age a little better other sports figures. While Formula 1 drivers tend to be a little younger, the average NASCAR driver is in their late thirties. That means racing retirement can be delayed well-past the comparative norm for an Olympic boxer or linebacker in the NFL.

However, every sport seems to share the common theme of athletes’ complete inability to remain retired after making a public announcement that they were packing it in.

Jeff Gordon, now 45, is stock car royalty. He is a four-time Sprint Cup champion, a three-time Daytona 500 winner, and has participated in more consecutive races than any other driver in NASCAR history. So, when he announced that 2015 was to be his last season as a full-time racing driver, we collectively understood that he had earned the respite.

The self-imposed retirement was short lived.

Gordon immediately volunteered to substitute for Dale Earnhardt Jr. after a June crash at the Michigan International Speedway left him with a severe concussion. Doctors eventually decided that Earnhardt should return for the 2017 season, leaving Jeff to split duties with Alex Bowman for the remainder of this year. Gordon said that he would happily assist Hendrick Motorsports for “as long as they need me.”

However Hendrick will have to do without him on January 28th and 29th, because he’ll be competing in the Rolex 24 after a 10-year absence. Having previously taken third at the 24-hour endurance event in 2007, Gordon seems keen to rejoin the Wayne Taylor Racing team while continuing his farcical retirement.

“I really enjoyed racing in the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2007 with Max, Wayne and Jan,” Gordon said in a statement. “When I announced I would no longer be competing full-time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, my hope was that I would get an opportunity like this to compete again in such a prestigious event – with Konica Minolta and Wayne Taylor Racing – with the hopes of winning it this time. I know that Ricky and Jordan are super-fast, and I believe it will be a very strong combination.”

In addition to Wayne Taylor’s sons, Gordon will also be sharing the brand new No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R with endurance veteran Max Angelelli. “I think it is exceptional to have Jeff back with us after 10 years,” said Angelelli, a man who actually retired from full-time driving in 2014.

The 55th Rolex 24 is scheduled to begin on January 28, with the annual Roar Before the 24 testing set for three weeks prior at the Daytona International Speedway.

Meanwhile, Jeff Gordon’s racing career was scheduled to wind down last year.

[Image: Cadillac]

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5 of 22 comments
  • ToddAtlasF1 ToddAtlasF1 on Dec 07, 2016 "The DPi-V.R race car was an exciting new canvas for the Cadillac design and sculpting team," said Andrew Smith, Global Cadillac Design executive director. "The studio embraced the opportunity to interpret the Cadillac form language, line work and graphic signature for this premier prototype racing application. Every detail of the final design was selected to support the car's on-track performance and unmistakable Cadillac presence." The design details giving the DPi-V.R car its distinctive Cadillac appearance and presence include the vertical lighting signature; the sheer, sculptural quality of the body and bold bodyside feature line; V-Performance wheels with Brembo brakes; V-Performance emblems; and a canopy graphic inspired by the Cadillac daylight opening. Even subtle cues such as the cooling vents and the air intake were designed in the studio, the latter in the trapezoidal shape of the Cadillac crest. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- I love how Cadillac's styling "contribution" to the effort is rendered irrelevant by mere camouflage paint.

    • See 1 previous
    • ToddAtlasF1 ToddAtlasF1 on Dec 07, 2016

      @ckb I get it. I just found their press release to be sillier than usual.

  • Erikstrawn Erikstrawn on Dec 07, 2016

    "he announced that 2015 was to be his last season as a FULL-TIME racing driver" does not equal "retired" (emphasis mine).

    • FormerFF FormerFF on Dec 07, 2016

      Running the enduros as a third or fourth driver is a good thing for someone like Jeff to do. Racecraft is more important that pure pace, and there are only four of them on the schedule, so it's not nearly the grind that NASCAR would be.

  • Redapple2 I d just buy one already sorted. Too many high level skills (wiring, paint, body panel fitment et. al.) that i dont have. And I dont fancy working 100 s of hours for $3 /hour.
  • 28-Cars-Later I'm actually surprised at this and not sure what to make of it. In recent memory Senator Biden has completely ignored an ecological disaster in Ohio, and then ignored a tragic fire in Hawaii until his handlers were goaded in sending him and his visit turned into it's own disaster, but we skipped nap time for this sh!t show? Seriously? We really are through the looking glass now, "votes" no longer matter (Hillary almost won being the worst presidential candidate since 1984 before he claimed the crown) and outside of Corvette nostalgia Joe doesn't care let alone know what day it happens to be. Could they really be afraid of Trump, who AFAIK has planned no appearance or run his mouth on this issue? Just doesn't make sense, granted this is Clown World so maybe its my fault for trying to find sense in a senseless act.
  • Tassos If you only changed your series to the CORRECT "Possibly Collectible, NOT Daily Driver, NOT Used car of the day", it would sound much more accurate AND TRUTHFUL.Now who would collect THIS heap of trash for whatever misguided reason, nostalgia for a much worse automotive era or whatever, is another question.
  • ToolGuy Price dropped $500 overnight. (Wait 10 more days and you might get it for free?)
  • Slavuta Must be all planned. Increase price of cars, urbanize, 15 minutes cities. Be poor, eat bugs