Fans From All Over Gathered To Honor Jeff Gordon At The NASCAR Hall Of Fameby Hunter Thomas February 2, 2019 0 comments
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Jeff Gordon stole the spotlight in Friday’s NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony as fans traveled from all over to see him get enshrined and receive NASCAR’s most prestigious honor.
Wearing the traditional Rainbow Warrior DuPont swag, fans lined the interior of the NASCAR Hall of Fame hoping to get a glimpse of the four-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion. For hours they stood and waited for Gordon to make his way to the red carpet. Gordon arrived on the scene with his wife Ingrid Vandebosch and two kids, Leo and Ella. Once in sight, the building roared with excitement as the fans took photos while hoping to maybe even get an autograph too.
“It’s the kids that want it (autograph), because they just really love you or they love racing or that means something to them,” Gordon said. “You become something that maybe they want to be when they’re going to be a race car driver.”
That was just pre-event festivities. When it came time for Gordon to take to the stage to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the entire Grand Ballroom in the Charlotte Convention Center in Uptown Charlotte erupted into cheers as the rainbow-patterned lights shined upon the stage. After giving a brief overview of his career, Gordon took the time to thank the fans while on stage.
“Thank you to the fans who make racing the great sport that it is … You make being a race car driver a dream come true,” Gordon said.
Following the emotional on-stage ceremony, Gordon participated in a Q&A with the media. Fan appreciation also took centerstage during the press conference. Gordon shared a story of a young man who he met that night. Gordon was very pleased to know that he inspired the young man to follow his dreams and begin a career in NASCAR as well.
Gordon said, “I met a kid tonight, and he works for NASCAR or NASCAR Productions. He said that I got your autograph when I was a kid, and you’re the one that inspired me to be in NASCAR, and I still have that autograph today. So, when you hear those moments, then it makes you feel really good, the efforts that you put into it. I thought that it was very important. I love that they invite the fans to this event.”
While other drivers from the 90’s and 00’s have been inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Gordon became the first modern superstar driver to receive the honor. Sure, Dale Earnhardt Sr., Dale Jarrett, Terry Labonte, Mark Martin, Bill Elliott and Darrell Waltrip have some incredibly passionate fan bases, but Gordon connected with the new generation, the kids who grew up in the 90’s and 00’s. Gordon was more than just a race car driver back when he was competing. He was very active in pop culture as well. To see fans from all different cultures and backgrounds gather to honor a NASCAR legend was certainly a sight to see.
Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com