Gordon To Hand Seat Over To Chase Elliott
Chase Elliott will drive full time in Cup in 2016. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Tom Copeland)
By Deb Williams | Senior Writer
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Exit Jeff Gordon. Enter Chase Elliott.
On Thursday, one week after Gordon announced 2015 would be his final full-time season in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series, team owner Rick Hendrick made it official that Elliott would be the four-time champion’s successor. The announcement surprised no one. After all, Hendrick had signed Elliott when he was 15 years old and many believed then he was being groomed for this day.
Hendrick said during the final event on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour that wasn’t the case; that he never wanted to think about Gordon retiring. That day, however, was inevitable. Gordon, now 43, wants to spend more time with his children and then there’s that nagging back problem. He thought about stepping out of the car in 2012 when his performance was sub-par, but each time Hendrick talked him into continuing. Last year, however, in the middle of a season when his performance was reminiscent of the 1990s, Gordon told Hendrick it was time. This time, there was no changing his mind.
Gordon was only 21 years old when he drove his first race in the No. 24. It was the season finale of the 1992 Read the full story »