Jeff Gordon: NASCAR, Wife, Divorce & Net Worth

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Jeffery Michael Gordon is an American former professional stock car racing driver who now serves as the vice chairman for Hendrick Motorsports. He participated as a driver in racing sports from 1993 to 2015.

If you’re into car racing or Stock car, You may have heard about one of the most influential drivers in NASCAR, Jeff Gordon.

He is also a NASCAR Hall of Fame and one of the wealthiest NASCAR racers.

Jeff Gordon, Former Professional Stock Car Racing Driver
Jeff Gordon, Former Professional Stock Car Racing Driver (Source: Wikipedia)

Most of his professional racing years were pretty successful; Jeff claimed four NASCAR titles with 805 races in the NASCAR Cup series.

After Jeff retired from racing, he embarked on a different career path, broadcasting. He started as a guest analyst for NASCAR on Fox Sports.

Now, let’s dive into the successful yet tough journey of the NASCAR driver from birth to where he is now with his broadcasting career.

Quick Facts

Full Name  Jeffery Michael Gordon
Birth Date 1971, August 4
Age   52 Years Old
Birth Place Vallejo, California
Nickname Rainbow Warrior, Wonder Boy
Religion Christianity
Nationality American
Education Not Available
Horoscope Leo
Father’s Name Carol Ann Bickford
Mother’s Name Willian Grinnel Gordon
Siblings Kim Gordon
Height 5’7″/1.70 m/170 cm
Weight 68 kg/150 lb.
Build Athletic
Shoe Size Not Available
Eye Color Grey
Hair Color Brown 
Marital Status Married
Spouse(s) Brooke Sealy (m. November 26,1994 – June 13, 2003)
Ingrid Vandebosch (m. November 7, 2006 – Present)
Children 2 (Ella Sofia, Leo Benjamin)
Profession NASCAR Racer/ Broadcaster
Active Since   1979
Best Finish   1st (1995, 1997, 1998, 2001)
Net Worth $200 million
Awards and Achievements 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2001 Winston Cup Series Champion
2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona Overall winner
1991 USAC Silver Crown Series Champion etc.
Social Media TwitterInstagram
Merch Signed Diecast Car
Last Update May 2024

Early Life

Jeff Gordon, the 2019 NASCAR Hall of Fame, was born to his parents, Carol Ann Bickford and Willian Grinnel Gordon, on August 4, 1971, in Vallejo, California. 

His parents got divorced when he was only six months old. In the 1970s, Jeff’s mother married John Bickford, a car builder, and parts supplier.

The Scotch-Irish descent racer began racing in quarter little people after his stepfather bought him a BMX bike when he was 4.

Jeff During His Childhood
Jeff During His Childhood (Source: Jeff Gordon)

Spending most of his childhood racing, at age 16, Gordon became the youngest driver to get a USAC license.

To grab more opportunities, his family then moved to Pittsboro, Indiana. In 1989, Gordon, on his high school graduation day, got changed after the ceremony and quickly went to Bloomington to race that night.

The former NASCAR Racer never went to University. While growing up, Jeff spent his childhood in motorsports alongside his four-year elder sister, Kim, and his younger cousin James Bickford who currently competes in the K&N Pro Series West.

Early Years Before NASCAR

A year after his stepfather bought him a BMX bike, Gordon started competing in Quarter Midget Racing locally, which led him to win 35 main events.

He set a five-track record and won a local championship by the time he was 6.

In 1979, Gordon started competing at Quarter Midget Racing nationally. That year he won 52 main events and set eight track records when he was 8. 

Jeff started kart racing at 9 and won over 200 races in Quarter Midgets and go-karts by 12.

He started getting interested in sprint car racing at 13 and competed in his first sprint car events in Florida.

He wasn’t legally allowed to drive a sprint car in California before he turned 16, so the family moved to Pittsboro, Indiana, in 1986. 

In November of 1989, Jeff got enough donations to race in Australia, which allowed him to compete in the inaugural World Sprint Car Championship at Claremont Speedway, traveling to Perth.

Jeff’s youngest driver in the championship game finished 12th in the race. He also drove sprint cars in New Zealand and won 14 out of 15 races he participated in.

Further

When he was 18, Jeff was named the 1989 USAC National Midget Series Rookie of the Year and won the series championship in 1990.

At 20, the former NASCAR racer became the youngest driver to win the USAC Silver Crown Series championship.

Jeff Gordon dominated the USAC National Midget Series, winning the 500, the Hut Hundred, and the Belleville Midget Nationals.

After that, Gordon aspired to pursue a career in open-wheel racing. But soon, he realized car owners prioritized foreign drivers who bring in big money and sponsorships.

This led him to discover the realistic possibility of Stock Car Racing. Then Jeff attempted to enter Indy Teams during a visit to the Grand Prix of Cleveland. He met Al Unser Jr. and A.J. Foyt, who recommended NASCAR to Gordon.

NASCAR

Busch Series

Jeff Gordon’s NASCAR journey started with Busch Series in 1990 when he collaborated with Ray Evernham at North Carolina Motor Speedway for his debut.

Despite starting second on the grid, he finished 39th after the front row got wrecked on lap 33.

Gordon went on to compete in the Busch Series for Bills Davis Racing in 1991 and 1992. He also won the Rookie of the Year award in 1991 and set a NASCAR record by finishing 11 poles in one season in 1992.

In 1999, Gordon and Rick Hendrick’s son, Ricky Hendrick, started driving in the Busch Series with their team Gordon/Evernham Motorsports (GEM).

The team received full sponsorship from Pepsi and competed in 6 races with Gordon as driver and Evernham as crew chief.

However, GEM only lasted a year after Evernham left Hendrick Motorsports, causing the most dominant driver/crew-chief combination in NASCAR history to an end.

Despite the setback, the former stock car racer continued participating in the Busch Series for JG Motorsports and won the 1999 Outback Steakhouse 200 and the 2000 Homestead races.

JG Motorsports was established after Rick Hendrick bought Evernham’s half.

Cup Series

Early Years(1991-1994)

Jeff Gordon’s stepfather refused an offer from Roush Racing in 1992. Later that year, Gordon joined Hendrick Motorsports after he caught the attention of Rick Hendrick in a Busch Series event at Atlanta Motor Speedway. 

His Winston Cup debut came in the season-ending race at the Hooters 500 in Atlanta, where he finished 31st after a crash.

The following year, he began as a full-time racer in the Winston Cup series, driving No. 24 for Hendrick.

Things started getting better for Gordon after winning the opening race in the Gatorade Twin 125’s Race and with his first-career pole position at the fall Charlotte race.

He also ended the year with a 14th-place finish and the Rookie of the Year award, despite doubts about his tendency to push cars too hard and crash.

The year 1994 turned out great for Gordon as he marked a win at the Busch Clash exhibition race, a pole win for the Coca-Cola 600, and a hometown victory at the inaugural Brickyard 400.

Championship Season (1995-2001)

The former NASCAR racer’s first win in the Winston Cup series came in 1995, but it was the following year people got to witness his dominance, although he missed out on the championship by 37 points.

He finished the season with 10 wins while defending the title and winning the final official NASCAR race at the track.

Jeff Gordon With His Winston Cup
Jeff Gordon With His Winston Cup (Source: Autoweek)

Jeff made up for his championship loss with back-to-back titles in 1997 and 1998, where he won the Daytona 500 (becoming the youngest driver to win) and Coca-Cola 600. He became the first driver since Bill Elliot in 1985 to win the Winston Million after winning the Southern 500 at Darlington.

The 1999 season started with his second Daytona 500 win. In 2000, he signed a lifetime contract with Hendrick Motorsports and became the equity owner of his No. 24 team.

Gordon started his 2000 season with his 50th career victory but finished the season placing 9th. The following year, he was the third driver to win four Winston Cup championships in NASCAR history.

Downhill And Struggles (2002-2010)

In 2006, Jeff Gordon had a horrific crash at Pocono Raceway, where he hit the wall after losing his brakes. Speaking to the press, Jeff said, “I hit the wall probably harder than I have ever hit a wall. I was not myself, but I wasn’t knocked unconscious.”

Things started going downhill for Jeff Gordon as he struggled through the 2008 to 2010 seasons, with only one win in the 2009 season.

In 2009, Jeff made history by becoming the first NASCAR driver to earn over $100 million in career winnings.

Final Years (2011-2016)

In 2011, things turned around for Gordon when Alan Gustafson became Martin’s crew chief, and he won his first race in 66 races and his second race at Phoenix.

He also tied the record for third-most poles at Aaron’s 499 and tied Bill Elliot for most wins at Pocono’s track. And again, to claim his 85th career win, he defeated Johnson at Atlanta.

The 2012 season was rough, with him slipping a stock car for the first time and finishing 40th after a blown engine on lap 81. But, he broke a record for most wins at Pocono, claiming his 86th NASCAR Sprint Cup victory.

Gordon and Austin Dillon were the only drivers in 2014 to finish every race. He also became the only driver to finish in the top ten in every race up to the Bristol one and opened up about retiring after winning his fifth title at NASCAR’s Media Day.

He ended the season placing 6th, making this the 3rd time he lost the championship because of Chase Points.

His final season as a full-time racer was in 2015 and he received many tributes and claimed his 93rd and final Cup victory at the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500.

For the 2016 season, Gordon served as a reserve driver in No. 88. He became the ninth driver to reach 800 career starts at Watkins Glen International.

Broadcasting Career

After stepping down from full-time driving in 2015, Jeff joined the broadcasting world. On January 25, 2015, Fox Sports announced him as a guest analyst for NASCAR.

He covered Xfinity Series events alongside full-time announcers Adam Alexander and Michael Waltrip.

His broadcasting debut on Fox Sports 1 was during the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Through NASCAR Race Hub, in May of 2015, Gordon announced his decision to join Fox Sports as a full-time analyst for Cup Series events beginning with the 2016 sprint cup series.

Gordon has been actively broadcasting NASCAR events for FOX Sports since then.

Foundation 

Gordon also has a foundation called Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation. The Foundation’s vision is that there will come a day when no child will face cancer uncertainty, and successful treatments will not result in harmful, long-term effects.

The foundation raises public awareness and provides the needed funding for childhood cancer research.

In addition to supporting pediatric cancer research, the Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital in Concord, NC, assists children in the community by providing a high level of primary and specialty pediatric care, regardless of their ability to pay.

Personal Life

Jeff Gordon was married to Brooke Sealy, a Miss Winston Cup model he met in the victory lane at Daytona Internal Speedway in 1993.

The couple publicly revealed their relationship in December after Brooke’s role as Miss Winston ended in the 1993 season.

In the 1994 Daytona 500, Gordon reserved a banquet hall at a French restaurant in Daytona Beach to propose Sealy.

Jeff With His Family During Vacation
Jeff With His Family During Vacation (Source: Instagram)

He married on November 26, 1994, but they divorced in March 2002, when Sealy sued Jordon for marital misconduct, citing his relationship with professional model Deanna Merryman.

Then Gordon met Ingrid Vandebosch through a mutual friend in 2002, and started dating only after 2004. They announced their engagement on June 24, 2006, and got married in a small, private ceremony in Mexico on November 7, 2006. 

In New York City, the couple had their first child, Ella Sofia Gordon, on June 20, 2007. On August 9, 2010, a baby boy, Leo Benjamin Gordon, was an addition to the Gordon family.

Currently, the family resides in the South Park neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Awards And Achievements 

Awards

  • 1993 Winston Cup Series Rookie of the Year
  • 1991 Busch Series Rookie of the Year
  • 2009 National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame inductee
  • 2009 Silver Buffalo Award recipient
  • 2012 Heisman Humanitarian Award recipient
  • Named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers (1998)
  • 2018 Motorsports Hall of Fame of America inductee
  • 2019 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee

Achievements

  • 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2001 Winston Cup Series Champion
  • 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona Overall winner
  • 1991 USAC Silver Crown Series Champion
  • 1990 USAC National Midget Series Champion
  • 1997, 1999, and 2005 Daytona 500 Winner
  • 1994, 1998, 2001, 2004, and 2014 Brickyard 400 Winner
  • 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2002, and 2007 Southern 500 Winner
  • 1994, 1997, and 1998 Coca-Cola 600 Winner
  • 1995, 1997, and 2001 Sprint All-Star Race Winner
  • 1994 and 1997 Advance Auto Parts Clash Winner

Net Worth

Jeff Gordon is estimated to have a net worth of $200 million as of 2024.

Gordon can be called Floyd Mayweather or Cristiano Ronaldo of NASCAR in the context of earning the most wealth from their profession.

At the peak of Gordon’s career, he is estimated to have earned $20 million to $30 million through his salary and endorsements.

The former NASCAR racer has at least earned $160 million from winnings alone in his career, and totaling all the earnings, he has reportedly made well over $500 million from racing.

But unfortunately, Gordon lost a lot of his money and one of his house for his divorce settlement with his first wife.

Although he is not racing, Gordon earns a regular paycheck through his broadcasting career and other ventures.

Social Media Presence

Jeff Gordon stays active on different social media platforms. He uses these platforms to promote different brands and his ventures.

Gordon started using social media when he was sponsor hunting in 2011-12. He frequently makes posts that reflect his lifestyle.

You can follow him @JeffGordonWeb on Twitter and @jeffgordonweb on Instagram.

Instagram: 429k followers

Twitter: 1.2m followers

Popularity

Breaking several records and winning numerous titles, Jeff has earned fans from all around the world.

Jeff Gordon's Popularity Graph
Jeff Gordon’s Popularity Graph (Source: Google Trends)

The above graph gives brief information about the popularity of Jeff Gordon based on Google searches in the United States over a year.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When did Jeff Gordon retire?

Jeff Gordon retired as a full-time racer in 2015.

How many wins does Jeff Gordon have?

Jeff Gordon has recorded 93 wins throughout his career.

How many championships has Jeff Gordon won?

Jeff Gordon has won four championships throughout his career.

Is Jeff Gordon still racing?

No, Jeff Gordon is retired and is currently working as a broadcaster.

Who did Jeff Gordon get in a fistfight with?

In March 2017, Jeff Gordon got into a fistfight with Brad Keselowski in the Texas night race.

Aaditya Bhatta
Aaditya Bhatta

Aaditya Bhatta

Aaditya Bhatta is a dynamic writer and sports enthusiast, whose passion for both realms is reflected in his work. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for storytelling, Aaditya brings a unique perspective to his writing, captivating readers with his engaging content.

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Aaditya's journey as a writer and sports aficionado began at a young age when he discovered his passion for both pursuits. Throughout his academic and professional endeavors, Aaditya has honed his skills in content creation and sports analysis, immersing himself in the intricacies of the games he loves.

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