Jeff Gordon is an American professional stock race car driver and announcer for Fox NASCAR. He is regarded as one of the richest NASCAR drivers of all time. Learn more about how he accumulated his wealth and other facts of his life.
Jeff Gordon’s Rise To Fame
Jeffery Michael “Jeff” Gordon was born on August 4, 1971, in Vallejo, California and raised in Pittsboro, Indiana. Gordon’s need for speed began at the age of 4 when he rode a BMX bike gifted to him by his stepfather. A year later, he began competing in auto racing, driving the quarter midget.
He went on to break and set records on the race tracks and even had a brief stint in waterskiing. At the age of 16, Gordon became the youngest driver to be awarded a United States Auto Club (USAC) license. At 19 he won USAC’s National Midget championship and at 20 the USAC Silver Crown, becoming the youngest to ever win the title.
More Fame with NASCAR
In 1991/1992, Gordon made his professional racing debut in the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series (now NASCAR Xfinity Series) with Hugh Connerty Racing and later with Bill Davis Racing. He won the Rookie of The Year Award in his first season and after a year, in 1993 he began racing full-time in the Sprint Cup Series. Again, he won the Rookie of The Year Award after an impressive first season.
He went on to win the Sprint Cup champion two years later in 1995 and three other times in 1997, 1998, and 2001. Gordon is credited with having exposed the NASCAR sport to the mainstream media thanks to his wholesome looks in front of the cameras.
In 1997, he became the youngest racer to win the Daytona 500 and would go on to win it two other times in 1999 and 2005. Over the course of his 25-year career, Gordon has also won 93 Sprint Cup; the third all-time wins.
Did Jeff Gordon Divorce His Wife and Who Are His Family Members?
After he won the first of two qualifying races for the 1993 Daytona 500, in victory lane at Daytona International Speedway he met Brooke Sealey who was a Miss Winston Cup model at the time. The pair began dating secretly and had to wait a whole year to make their relationship open after Sealey completed her role as Miss Winston in the same year.
This move was as a result of the strict policy as NASCAR were driver were not permitted to date model of the company. On November 26, 1994, they both got married. However, in 2002, Sealey filed for divorce stating marital misconduct on Jeff’s part. She accused Jeff of having an affair with professional model Deanna Merryman. Though Sealey demanded more money and properties of which Jeff objected to, the court in its final verdict granted Sealey a $15 million settlement.
In the same year, he was spotted on a beach with Amanda Church, a model. He later moved in with her in New York City. Shortly, a friend of his introduced Ingrid Vandebosch to him at a dinner party in 2002 and they began dating in 2004. Jeff announced his engagement to Ingrid in 2006 and they officially tied the knot on November 7, 2006.
The couple welcomed their first child, Ella Sofia Gordon in New York City on the 20th of June 2007. Three years later, on the 9th of August 2010, their second child Leo Benjamin Gordon was welcomed as well.
Is Jeff Gordon Gay?
In March 2014, the news of Jeff coming out as gay was reported first by the satirical and entertainment website “Empire sports”. It was stated that Jeff though facing a divorce from his wife was in a relationship with fellow NASCAR member, Stephen Rhodes.
Jeff, however, debunked the claim divulging that he neither gave an interview on the subject nor admit that he’s gay. It was later discovered that this was just a fake news report. Die-hard female fans can rest easy in the meantime at least, knowing that the gay story was just a hoax.
Earnings And Endorsements
Gordon’s highly successful NASCAR career has brought him millions, however, a bulk of his annual earnings stem from his endorsement deals rather than winning from the race tracks.
In his debut professional year with the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Gordon finished the season ranking 4th and earned more than $400,000. Later in the Xfinity series, he earned over $800,000. In the higher Sprint Cup series, Gordon has earned almost $150 million in career prize money making him the first driver to win over $100 million in Sprint Cup series.
Gordon’s outstanding success on the tracks have garnered lucrative endorsement deals from top brands, among theCoca-Cola; Gillette, DuPont, Pepsi, Ray-Ban, Kellogg Company, Frito-Lay and more.
Together with Rick Hendrick, Jeff is the co-owner of No. 48 Chevrolet driven by Jimmie Johnson. He also owns an equity stake in the No. 24 team. Gordon owns JG Motorsports which controls his licensing deals and North Carolina car dealership, Jeff Gordon Chevrolet.
He also owns a line of wine in partnership with Briggs & Sons Winemaking, Co. In 2012, Gordon designed the Canadian Motor Speedway in Fort Erie, Ontario. It is said that the Speedway is the largest race track in Canada. Sponsor Axalta Coating Systems in 2015 hired Gordon as its global business advisor.
He signed a lifetime contract with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet and currently serves as their substitute driver.
Some of the previous business ventures owned by Gordon in collaboration with Dale Earnhardt include real estate company, Performance Partners, Inc and casual clothing line Chase Racewear.
Sometime in 2013, it was reported that the racer listed his New York City apartment for sale asking $30 million. The house is extremely beautiful and its facilities are excessively elegant. You can take a look at the pictures here. The man has another house in Charlotte, North Carolina. Among other amazing features, the home has a wine cellar, a pool, bar, billiards room and a grand playhouse.
Jeff’s total net worth in recent times is estimated to be around $400 million.