Jeff Gordon is a household name and a NASCAR legend. As of Friday February 1st, Gordon goes from legend to Hall of Famer. With the help of Ray Evernham as Crew Chief and Rick Hendrick as Team Owner, Jeff Gordon changed the landscape of NASCAR.
With four Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championships to his name, Gordon was destined to be a first ballot Hall of Famer. Two of the many people to accompany Gordon to the Hall of Fame was Evernham and Hendrick.
“I knew he was going to be something special,” Evernham said to The Racing Experts. “The first time I saw him drive a racecar, I knew he was special, I knew he was going to win a lot of races. I was one-hundred percent sure that he would be a star in this sport.”
Team Owner Rick Hendrick saw something in Gordon when he was testing at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. It was Gordon’s talent that made Hendrick want to sign Gordon and not let him go.
“I saw him at Atlanta in the Busch Series and I was so impressed with him and his talent that I just pursued him and he was available.” Hendrick said. “It was the best day of my racing career, when I watched him at Atlanta Motor Speedway and made a deal with him because he’s been a guy that’s put our place on the map.”
Although Hendrick was impressed with Gordon early on, it wasn’t until the eighth lap at a MENCS test at Charlotte Motor Speedway when he realized Gordon was special.
“His car control, his feel, everything about him. You can’t teach someone that skill. Just watching him handle that car, not having been in one before is just amazing.”
Gordon enters the Hall of Fame with 93 MENCS wins and four championships.