It has been five years since Jeff Gordon last ran a motor race, and seven years since ending his illustrious NASCAR Cup Series career. On 2–4 September, he will once again return to the cockpit of a race car in a competitive setting as he enters the Porsche Carrera Cup North America round at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He will drive the #24 in the Invitational class, with leadership from his old NASCAR crew chief Ray Evernham.
The four-time Cup Series champion and 2019 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee won five times at Indianapolis during his twenty-five years in the division. After retiring from NASCAR in 2015 to transition into broadcasting, his lone racing action came at the 2017 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona where he won the overall for Wayne Taylor Racing. He is one of four drivers to win both the Daytona 500 and Rolex 24 alongside Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt, and Jamie McMurray.
Currently, he serves as Vice Chairman for Hendrick Motorsports, whom he also co-owns. A longtime fan favourite who helped propel NASCAR into the mainstream, he has often been brought up by fans as a driver whom they wish to see competing again; indeed, in 2018, he expressed interest in competing in the Camping World Truck Series at Martinsville (where he won nine times) if the chance ever arose.
“I’m looking forward to getting back in a race car and competing against a talented field of teams and drivers,” Gordon stated. “It’s always special when I get a chance to compete at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Ray and I have always talked about running another race together, and we felt like Indy was the perfect place. It’ll be a fun way to spend the holiday weekend and make some new memories.”
While his Indianapolis wins came on the oval layout, he drove a Williams FW24 on the infield road course in 2003 as part of a ride swap with then-Formula One driver and eventual NASCAR regular Juan Pablo Montoya.
Gordon and Evernham won three championships and forty-seven races together in the late 1990s. While not as involved with NASCAR nowadays as in the past, Evernham oversaw the founding of the Superstar Racing Experience in 2021 and continues to work as a TV analyst.