Never say never...
Daytona Beach, Fla.— Though Jeff Gordon has left the door cracked ever so slightly when it comes to a possible appearance on the track after 2015, he’s more likely to end his competitive role in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing at the end of the season.
“I have too much respect for other drivers that have ended their career or said they were going to end their career of driving the Cup cars and then they come back and want to run some more races,” Gordon said Thursday morning at Daytona prior to practice for Sunday's Daytona 500 (1 p.m. on FOX). “I feel like because I have so much respect for those guys, I felt like it was necessary for me to leave those options open.
The way I see it, there are four teams there (at Hendrick Motorsports) that are focused on winning the championship,
“But when I start really thinking about it from a realistic standpoint, what I love about racing is not going out there and driving fast and driving race cars. I like competing at a high level to win. If I felt like I could go to a Brickyard or a Martinsville or Bristol or--I don’t know, a couple of tracks that come to mind and be competitive with a competitive team—then I might consider doing that.”
When Gordon started enumerating the obstacles to an occasional return to competition, however, the probability of a reappearance on track after 2015 started to sound far less likely, though he did allow that he’d enjoy racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway if he had a competitive car.
“You can’t do it at Hendrick really,” Gordon said. “The way I see it, there are four teams there (at Hendrick Motorsports) that are focused on winning the championship, so it would be a disruption to that flow. Then you have to have somebody as a car owner, you have to team up with somebody to pull together a team. Pull together good cars and engines and (make) sure we have the resources there.
“Then you have to get sponsors. I don’t see it happening, but if I were to do it, if it did become a reality, certainly Indianapolis would be pretty high on my list of tracks. It would have to be something non-restricted, and it would have to be a place that I feel like I can make a difference and really be competitive at. Indianapolis is one of those tracks that come to mind.”
Reid Spencer - NASCAR Wire Service