Gordon Dishes on Dale, Dale Sr. and His Hall of Fame Career on the Dale Jr. Download

Ron Lemasters | JR Motorsports | 12/13/2018

Dale Jr. Download News

Jeff Gordon joins the DJD to discuss his HOF career, not being intimidated by The Intimidator and takes fan questions during the live Ask Jr. segment.

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Dec. 13, 2018) – The most recent episode of the Dale Jr. Download was indeed a star-studded affair, as four-time NASCAR Cup champion Jeff Gordon dropped by the Axalta Studio inside the JR Nation retail store on the campus at JR Motorsports.

Gordon, who in his early years was the primary foil for Dale Earnhardt Sr. in the mid-1990s, threw down on a lot of items that should come up again in January, when he will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Also, Earnhardt Jr. was named the driver of the Chevrolet Silverado pace truck for February’s 61st running of the Daytona 500. It will be the first time a truck has been used to pace the race, which Earnhardt Jr. won twice during his career.

Funny thing about that is, it might never have happened had it not been for a huge dollop of misfortune that turned out to be the break that made a career.

“All I wanted to do was race sprint cars,” Gordon said. “I wasn’t thinking NASCAR at all. I wanted to be a World of Outlaws sprint car driver. My heroes were Steve Kinser and Doug Wolfgang, and I got to race with those guys when I was 14...it was insane. Physically, man those cars are tough. There were a few races when I was fast, but I fell out of the seat a couple of times.”

That led to an offer from a top sprint-car team in the Midwest...the break that Gordon was looking for to advance toward his dream.

And he got fired.

“I get this ride with this awesome team and I’m like this is my break,” Gordon said. “I don’t know if it was the pressure or I didn’t have what it took, because I started wrecking the hell out of this thing and costing the car owner a lot of money. It was a big operation and we were racing the All Star Circuit of Champions and the Outlaws. I was 16 or 17, still in high school, and I got fired.”

As they say, when one door closes, another one opens somewhere else, and that proved true in Gordon’s case. He got a ride in legendary chassis builder Bob East’s USAC Midget operation with car owner Rollie Helmling at exactly the time when the fire was burning hottest for open-wheel racing on TV with ESPN’s Thursday Night Thunder series. It was on pavement, which Gordon had no experience on, but it didn’t seem to matter.

At the Night Before the 500 USAC race, at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, on national TV, Jeff Gordon arrived. “New track record, won my heat, won the race, just dominated...” was the way Gordon put it.

He tried to get into Indy Cars, but he didn’t have money or road-racing experience. With the assistance of Larry Nuber, the host of ESPN’s open-wheel coverage, he went south to NASCAR and never looked back.

There’s a lot more to hear about on this episode, so block out an hour or so and get the skinny on two of the most famous stock-car drivers in history. Of course, there are a lot of stories unique to them, as well as a lot of interaction about the sport, souvenirs and Dale Sr.’s command of the sport in his heyday.

To hear the rest of the story—and you know you want to-- tune into the Dale Jr. Download. You can thank us later!