A retired Hall of Fame NASCAR race driver, Jeff Gordon has been listed on all noteworthy publications as one of the greatest stock car racing drivers in history. In his career, Gordon had 81 pole position starts and has managed a total of 93 race wins, the most by any driver in modern history and third on the all-time list.
His achievements as a professional racer not only cements his place in history but also in wealth. Jeff has been able to amass a significant net worth through the prestige of his career. Along with his marriages, here are the details of Jeff Gordon’s life victories.
Gordon Started Racing as a Kid
As a child, he was fascinated by bicycles. Four years after he was born on August 4, 1971, his stepfather bought him a BMX bike. It was all part of an eventful childhood that include divorced parents, growing alongside a sibling, and competing in his high school cross country team.
About a year after he got his bike, Gordon began racing quarter midgets and quickly developed a reputation as a brilliant racer. By the time he was six, he had already set track records and was winning almost every event he entered. At around the age of 12, due to his continued success in the sport, Gordon became bored and opted to try his hand at a different sport. However, he later returned to it but moved to sprint car racing where he continued to show his brilliance. At 16, Gordon was the youngest person ever to get awarded a United States Auto Club racing license.
Jeff Gordon attended Tri-West Hendricks High School in Lizton, Indiana. He graduated in 1989 before devoting his life to auto racing, competing in events across the globe, and eventually becoming the famed NASCAR driver he is today.
The Beginning of His Professional Career
When Jeff Gordon was ready to become a professional racer, talent was no longer his issue. However, clearing the insurance hurdle was. Thankfully, with the support of his family, he found his professional star at Pittsboro, Virginia, where he quickly showed the skill in his arsenal. Within two years of competing at Pittsboro, he won three short-track races. He was also named USAC Midget Car Racing Rookie of the Year in 1989.
In the first decade of his professional career, he competed at home and abroad in New Zealand and Australia. Before he joined NASCAR, Jeff Gordon won several titles, including USAC national Midget title and 4 Crown Nationals.
With the help of Huge Connerty, a Hooters investor, Jeff Gordon secured his place as a NASCAR racer in the Busch series. His journey in America’s premier car racing competition began in 1990 and was the start of one of its most remarkable adventures.
He Was a NASCAR Racer for 25 Years
Jeff began his NASCAR career in the Busch series in 1990. His first race was in October 1990 at the North Carolina Motor Speedway, and he finished 39th after he wrecked his car on lap 33. Despite his bad start in the series, he won the Rookie of the Year in his first full season competing in the Busch series. At the time, he raced for Bill Davis Racing, driving the Ford Thunderbirds.
In the NASCAR Cup Series, Jeff Gordon competed in 805 races over 25 years. He finished first four times and won 93 races while finishing in the top ten 477 times. His first race win was in 1994, at the 1994 Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte. His last race was in 2015, at Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500.
In addition to the Cup Series, he also competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. But it wasn’t his most successful competition. He ran 73 races in five years, with a 4th place best finish. Beyond his NASCAR competitions, he also competed in the Race of Champions, Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, and International Race of Champions.
A Look at Jeff Gordon’s Racing Records
Right from his childhood, Jeff Gordon amassed plenty of awards and recognition. It continued when he became a professional racer and even after his retirement. So far, Gordon has more than 55 awards and plaques to his name. Some of the ones he received during his active career include nine AARWBA All America Team, 1990 Hoosier Auto Racing Fans Driver of the Year, four Best Driver ESPY Awards, and 1992 Pat O’Conner Award.
Post-retirement, he has been inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame and named Daytona 500 Honorary Pace Car Driver. He has also received the Chevrolet Lifetime Achievement Award and has been inducted into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame.
Some of his career records include third all-time NASCAR Cup Series Wins and most Cup series victories on restrictor-plate tracks and road courses. Additionally, Jeff Gordon holds the record for most wins at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Pocono Raceway, Kansas Speedway, and a couple of others. He holds the record for one of the longest streaks in sports: the most consecutive starts, with 797 races.
He Is One of The Richest Racers In The World
The Motorsports Hall of Famer has a net worth of $200 million. He was able to amass such wealth from the contracts he signed with his team, Hendrick Motorsports, as well as through cash prices won from races and endorsement deals.
In 2009, thanks to his massive earnings, he became the first NASCAR driver to earn $100 million in career winnings. He is also the highest-paid NASCAR driver ever, with $515 million in total career earnings.
Although his career as a driver is over, he keeps the millions flowing in via his broadcasting career which has seen him work for Fox Sports and ESPN. He also has equity in Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 24 team and co-owns the No. 48 team.
Businesses and Endorsements
Another major source of Jeff Gordon’s wealth is endorsements. During his career and after he retired, he has endorsed big brands like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kelloggs, Ray-Ban, and Edy’s.
Off the track, he is also quite an entrepreneur and business strategist. Jeff Gordon owns and has owned a string of businesses, boosting his overall net worth. He owns JG Motorsports, which once recorded up to $112 million in revenue. He also has a real estate company, Performance Partners; a wine business, and a car dealership, Jeff Gordon Chevrolet.
With such a diverse business portfolio and remarkable career earnings, it is no wonder that Jeff has a $200 million net worth.
Dissecting Jeff Gordon’s Marriages
Ingrid Vandebosch (2006 – Present)
Jeff Gordon is in his second marriage. He is married to Belgian model Ingrid Vandebosch, best known for modeling for Christian Dior. She has also appeared in women, lifestyle, and fashion magazines such as Vogue, Marie Claire, and Glamour. The pair first met in 2002 at a dinner party of a mutual friend in The Hamptons. However, they began exclusively seeing each other in 2004.
After two years of getting to know each other, Gordon announced that he had proposed to Vandebosch. The couple exchanged vows on November 7, 2006, at a small ceremony in Mexico.
Together, Gordon and Vandebosch have two children; a daughter named Ella Sofia Gordon born on June 20, 2007, and a son named Leo Benjamin Gordon, born on August 9, 2010.
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Brooke Sealey (1994 – 2003)
Like most marriages, things started well between Jeff Gordon and Brook Sealey. Brook, who was a Miss Winston Cup model, met Gordon during the Daytona International Speedway in 1993. After becoming a public couple, Jeff proposed in 1994 at Daytona Beach and they married later in the year on November 26, 1994.
Unfortunately, marriage was not as blissful as their dating phase. Divorce papers filed in 2002 by Brooke revealed marital misconduct by Jeff, including an affair with Deanna Merryman. Jeff and Brooke had a messy divorce proceeding before settling it in June 2003.
As part of the settlement, Jeff gave Brooke $15.3 million and ended their love story. The money and their time were all they shared. The couple never had any children.