HIGH POINT, N.C. – Jeff Gordon is a household name among NASCAR fans young and old. His storied career was followed by millions as he racked up 93 wins and 4 championships in his NASCAR Sprint Cup career.
Racing is all Gordon has ever known, from BMX bikes at the tender age of 5 to jumping in quarter midgets at the age of 6.
From the quarter midgets to sprint cars, and ultimately big league stock car racing, Gordon blazed a trail and opened up the world to NASCAR like no driver before him.
But before the 2015 NASCAR season started, Gordon announced to his crew and the world 2015 would be his final season racing.
As his career wound down in 2015, author Joe Garner began the journey to put together an authorized biography of Gordon’s career.
With help from Gordon, Garner embedded himself in the NASCAR star’s final season, went back to the communities where Gordon grew up and interviewed the people who knew him along the way, from the key players in his racing career to the friends he hung out with when he wasn’t on the track working his way up to the big time.
The book, “Jeff Gordon - His Dream, Drive & Destiny”, weaves its way through Gordon’s early life, the break-up of his parents and how his mom’s marriage to John Bickford was an early defining moment in Gordon’s career, long before anyone even knew what that would mean.
From a kid racing in California to a teen tearing up tracks across Indiana, Gordon ended up in North Carolina to test the waters of NASCAR.
The rest, as they say, is history. An historic career laid out in the book, like how he felt when he jumped in a stock car for the first time, how he ended up driving for a fledgling little team from High Point and how Rick Hedrick pick-pocketed Ford and made Gordon a Chevy man.
The book doesn’t gloss over the not-so-good in Gordon’s life either.
Troubles in his first marriage took a toll on Gordon’s relationship with his parents. Now happily re-married with 2 young children, Gordon is a focused family man and looks forward to spending his retirement with Ella and Leo but is glad they got to be around to see their dad win races.
Of course, as the book was written and sent to press, no one could have predicted that he’d be racing again in mid-2016 as a sub for the injured Dale Earnhardt Jr.
And now with the fall Martinsville race date here, the site of the final victory of his career, even Gordon is hesitant to go out on a limb and call this his last, last race.
He just hopes this final race can end up in victory lane like the one here last year did.
That would certainly be grounds to file an addendum to the book.