NASCAR: Jeff Gordon out at Fox, moving to new role for 2022

Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

After six years in the Fox NASCAR broadcast booth, four-time Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon is taking on a new role in 2022.

NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon will not return to the Fox NASCAR broadcast booth for the 2022 season, as he has decided to become the second-ranking member of Hendrick Motorsports to chairman and majority owner Rick Hendrick.

The four-time Cup Series champion, who retired from full-time competition at the end of the 2015 season, has been in the Fox booth since the 2016 season, but there had been recent rumors that the end of his current contract may mark the end of his time being the microphone.

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Gordon signed a lifetime contract with Hendrick Motorsports, where he competed full-time from 1993 to 2015, and became the sole minority owner back in 1999.

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He remains the lone partner in the organization to this day. He has been listed as the owner of the #48 Chevrolet, which was driven by seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson and is now driven by Alex Bowman, since the 2001 season when Johnson arrived at the team.

The 49-year-old is set to report to Hendrick and work alongside team president Marshall Carlson and general manager Jeff Andrews.

Here is what Gordon had to say about his decision in a press release.

"“I cannot put into words what Hendrick Motorsports means to me. In many ways, it’s my home and the people here are my family. I’ve never lost my passion for the organization, for our sport, and for the sheer challenge of racing and winning at the highest level. Being part of the competition is where I’m happiest and feel I can make the biggest contribution to the continued, long-term success of the team. Rick and I have a shared vision, which is based on the values he’s instilled, the culture he’s built and our desire to be the very best in all categories, on and off the track.”“I cannot thank the entire FOX Sports family enough for the incredible opportunity I’ve had over the past six seasons. I’ve come to truly appreciate the responsibility of bringing the sport to our fans and the tremendous work that goes into our broadcasts each and every week. I’m certainly going to miss it, but I will forever be grateful to FOX for the experience and for the trust they’ve placed in me. It’s been a privilege to work with such a talented group of people.”"

Hendrick has long said that Gordon will be the man who takes over his spot at the helm of the organization once he retires, and he admitted that this expanded role for the 93-time Cup Series race winner has been in the works for several years. However, he has no plans of stepping away from his majority role anytime soon.

Here is what Hendrick had to add.

"“I’ve always been impressed with his business instincts. On some level, he’s been involved in every major decision we’ve made over the last two decades, and his influence has continued to grow since he stopped driving. He understands our culture, our values, and the importance we place on our people and our partnerships.“I love racing and competing, and Jeff is the only person I know who hates to lose as much as I do. I feel great physically and have no plans to go anywhere anytime soon, which is exactly why it’s the right time. In the years to come, I couldn’t be more energized about working arm-in-arm with him and cementing the future of Hendrick Motorsports together.”"

Gordon’s executive management role with Hendrick Motorsports is officially slated to go into effect this upcoming offseason on Saturday, January 1, 2022.

Here is what Fox Sports chief executive officer and executive producer Eric Shanks had to say about Gordon’s departure from the booth.

"“Just like he did on the track, Jeff distinguished himself as an all-time winner on our FOX Sports team. While we are sad to see him go, everyone at FOX Sports wishes Jeff nothing but continued success.”"

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It has not been confirmed whether Fox will roll with a two-man booth with Mike Joy and Clint Bowyer, much like they did with Joy and Gordon in 2020 after the retirement of Darrell Waltrip, or if they will hire a replacement for Gordon for next year.