Jeff Gordon is 47, with his racing days in his past and his NASCAR Hall of Fame induction in his near future, in February. But there is one thing that he said might lure him back into a stock car: a track in the immediate New York City area.
“Man, I would give anything,” he told Newsday on Thursday. “That might even bring me back to driving if we had a track at the Meadowlands.”
There has been talk of that over the decades, and more recently of a site on Staten Island. But none of it has resulted in an actual venue, so for now the Poconos, Dover, Delaware, and upstate Watkins Glen remain as close as the sport’s top circuit gets.
Gordon thinks that is a pity.
“Going down to Teterboro (Airport) from time to time, going by the Meadowlands all the time and seeing all the things they’re building that are all sports-related, I just wish we could have figured out a way to get a race track there, especially a short track,” he said. “You look at the schedule and we desperately want another short track.”
Gordon knows the area well. Although he spends most of his time in North Carolina, he has an apartment in Manhattan, visits the Hamptons in the summer and said both of his children were born in New York.
Thursday he spoke at a Financial Planning Association of Long Island event, part of Nationwide’s sponsorship of Hendrick Motorsports, where Gordon works in addition to his role as a Fox analyst. “I think it’s fitting for me to talk about retirement and planning for the future,” he said with a laugh.
While on a percentage basis New York always is among the lowest-rated television markets for NASCAR, in pure number of viewers it is among the highest because of the market’s vast size.
“The number of people watching in New York is huge,” Gordon said. “There are a tremendous number of fans . . . I think they wouldn’t have any problem filling the stands.”
Gordon said when he is walking around Manhattan he primarily is recognized in tourist-heavy areas such as Times Square, but he added, “I always joke and tell people most of the time I get recognized in New York is when I’m walking by a construction site. Those are our NASCAR fans in New York.”
Gordon said he has enjoyed his post-driving career — mostly.
“The only time I ever miss racing is when..."
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