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===== Two-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon had successful surgery Wednesday morning to remove a polyp from his vocal cords and was resting comfortably at home late in the afternoon, a Hendrick Motorsports spokesperson reported.
Gordon, a self-professed talk-a-holic, said despite his gift of gab he was looking forward to the time off as he anticipates his second whirlwind tour of New York City preceding the Dec. 5 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Awards Banquet at the Waldorf-Astoria.
"I don't know if I planned this surgery or if God planned it for me," said Gordon on Tuesday. "I'm going to have about 7-10 days here where I'm going to be able to do a lot of thinking. I'm really looking forward to that.
"I not only love driving the car and going to all the races, but I love the business that surrounds what I do also. I'm so active and involved with sponsors and fans doing the appearances and going to the shop and going testing and racing ... It keeps me so busy, the only time I get to think about it and relax is when (wife) Brooke and I take a short vacation. There's not many times during the season you get to take vacations. They're few and far between, but I look forward to the off-season."
Gordon's procedure, planned as outpatient laser surgery, was done locally.
"The down time is for when it's over," Gordon said. "I won't be able to speak much for two or three days and I need to rest it as much as I can for at least 10-12 days. Mainly that's so I can be prepared for when we do get to New York.
"I imagine I'm going to be talking a little bit when I get there. I'm looking forward to it. I woke up this morning and I was so hoarse. I had to do a few radio shows and I could hardly speak."
Gordon said he lobbied for some voice reconstruction, but was rebuffed.
"My voice won't change at all," Gordon said. "I tried to ask 'em to see if they could deepen it a little bit but they said they couldn't do that."
"My doctor doesn't really know how and when it started," Gordon said of his condition. "The only characteristics I've heard is that people that normally get polyps are people who are on the radio every day or use their voice a lot. A lot of singers, especially opera singers -- people who stress their voice and max out -- have it.
"I like to talk. I enjoy it. I enjoy talking to the media and fans, but I need to know when enough is enough also. I don't want to get another one of these things when I get this one off because they can come back. I know in New York at the banquet in '95, I definitely stretched it out and used my voice. I was hoarse during the banquet because of it. I'm going to have to understand just how far I can take it."
That limit will be one of few Gordon has experienced in his brief, but successful, NASCAR career.
Due to the surgery, Gordon will be forced to miss this weekend's NASCAR Thunder Special Suzuka at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan. ===== Mike Irwin (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) NASCAR Fans _______________________________________
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