Jeff Gordon Rocks the NASCAR World

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And, just like that, Jeff Gordon rocked the NASCAR world. 

Don’t worry if you didn’t hear the news. When Jeff Gordon announced this was his last year of competitive racing today, much of the sporting world was focused on New England. Patriots Head Coach, Bill Belichick was addressing the dreaded #DeflateGate controversy at the same time Gordon was making the announcement. 

There’s never really a right time to announce something like this is there? When an athlete knows, some try to fight it and continue on. Others, know it and leave on their own terms. Jeff Gordon is doing it on his terms today. Not leaving racing completely, but the grinding long-haul that is the NASCAR season and Race for the Chase is done.

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As a non-NASCAR fan, I didn’t get it for the longest time. Get in a car and drive around an oval. Okay, part of me still thinks that. But, as in other sports, technology and fitness have changed NASCAR racing. It takes a certain amount of athleticism to drive, react, adjust and endure in NASCAR racing. The driving of today is nowhere near what it was back in the 60’s and 70’s (not that I watched it, but you know…). 

When Jeff Gordon came along, you could say he was viewed as a “pretty boy” of racing. He didn’t seem to quite fit the mold of what fans considered a race-car driver. But then…he raced. And, he won. On top of that, he went mainstream. He became a face with non-NASCAR fans like me. Oh I knew of the “King” Richard Petty and his peers. But, he didn’t resonate with me like Jeff Gordon did. His commercial endorsements are how he became a name to me. 

In 2011, Business Insider put together a list of athletes who made more money through endorsements than in their sport. Surpassed only by fellow driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and golfers Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, Gordon had made 76% of his money through endorsements.  As of June 2014, Forbes lists Gordon as the 86th highest paid athlete in the world. 

Today, Jeff Gordon and Pepsi go hand-in-hand. Especially for these recent Super Bowl commercials.

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FINAL THOUGHTS: I never did become a NASCAR fan. Not sure that I ever will. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t have a respect for those who are (like my friend Keith F.) and those who work in racing. I get it. And, I get why Jeff Gordon could be polarizing to die-hards. He wasn’t like the old-school racers that fans had grown to love. He was his own type of racer, at least from my perspective. I could be wrong, but I believe he helped take the sport beyond the confines of the South.

And, it hasn’t been the same since. 

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TWITTER REACTIONS

IT DIDN’T TAKE LONG

DON’T CALL IT RETIREMENT

IT’S FITTING, DON’T YOU THINK?

NASCAR REACTION

MEDIA REACTION

MORE TO IT? POSSIBLY

NO DOUBT A BOON FOR BUSINESS

FAN REACTION

THE ONLY WAY TO END THIS POST

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CadChica Sports

Posted by Sunny Cadwallader

CadChica Sports - Because there's more to the story than what's black-and-white