Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A season ends and a new journey begins for Jeff Gordon

The paint scheme for Jeff Gordon's No. 24 Drive to End Hunger
Chevrolet for the 2011 season was unveiled Monday morning.

Jeff Gordon finished ninth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup this past 2010 season, a great accomplishment considering he didn’t win a race. He was consistent, however, with 11 top-five and 17 top-10 finishes. He won one pole for the Bank of America 500 in Charlotte in October.

He started the Chase eighth in points and maintained position in the top 10. He said in his acceptance speech at the NASCAR banquet last Friday night that it was a disappointing finish.

Changes needed to be made for three of the Hendrick Motorsports teams.

Gordon found out two days after the final race at Homestead that his crew chief, Steve Letarte, will be leaving him to work with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and he will now be under the guidance of Alan Gustafson, a crew chief with a positive reputation.

Gordon said he was involved in the discussions of the changes and that he is really optimistic for everyone. He said, “I think it’s an exciting move. I think Steve and Junior are going to mesh together very well. One of Steve’s strong points is his personality and his ability to build confidence in the people around him.
 

“Alan and I – I’ve always felt a good chemistry there between us. Listening to him over the years in our [track] debriefs, you discuss what’s happening. He’s just a guy that I’ve always admired. I do feel like we’ve got some chemistry there and I’m looking forward to getting that out of the racetrack.”

Earlier this year, it was announced that Gordon's 18-season relationship with DuPont as his primary sponsor would end and a new sponsor was announced: AARP and Drive to End Hunger. They are the first nonprofit organization to become a major NASCAR sponsor; they will sponsor 22 races next season. His relationship with DuPont will change from a full-time to part-time partnership.

His new car was unveiled Monday morning in Manhattan, N.Y., where Gordon resides from time to time. To see a video of the new car's debut, click here.

There is a hunger crisis in America - about 50 million people are hungry and 6 million of them are over 60 years old. Gordon hopes to bring awareness to his fans and other Americans, and the goal with AARP is to solve the problem for good.

He concluded his interview on CNBC by joking, "We're going to be out there representing all of those with AARP cards who would like to get into the fast lane."

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