Gordon’s Crowd-Stirring Speech Caps Illustrious NASCAR Hall of Fame Night
Jeff Gordon always did make a connection with the fans. Plenty of people were drawn to his brightly colored No. 24 racer, his Madison Avenue charm and his clear-cut talent for driving a car at speed.
Gordon took the time to connect with the fans one more time in his sentimental speech Friday night as he joined the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s multi-faceted Class of 2019. His long list of people to thank included family, car owners and all of his crew chiefs, but he reserved a segment of his time — as he usually did at the race track — for the fans.
WATCH THE VIDEO:
“I thought it was very important, and I love that they invite the fans to this event,” Gordon said after his 10-minute address. “I didn’t hear enough of them throughout the night and I wanted to hear from them. I knew I was going to acknowledge them, but I wanted to interact with them a bit. It was great to hear that reception from them.”
The cheers, and Gordon’s heart-tugging reception, put a fitting bow on a night where the 10th class of inductees joined together in a celebration of stock-car racing history and their part in it. Davey Allison and Alan Kulwicki, two drivers whose careers were tragically curtailed in their prime, joined two dominating team owners in Roger Penske and Jack Roush, plus Gordon — a figure whose career transcended racing and turned him into a national household name.
For the first time in the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s existence, the group of five all competed against each other, albeit for a brief, overlapping window that spanned the 1992 season finale and the first five events of the ’93 NASCAR season. That cherished season-ender at Atlanta Motor Speedway in ’92 served as connective tissue for several Hall of Fame ties, crowning an unlikely champion in Kulwicki over Allison, bringing Gordon onto NASCAR’s big stage for his debut and bidding farewell to Richard Petty in his final race.
The enshrinement of...
To continue reading the full article, click here.