The 2015 NASCAR season kicked off a couple weeks ago at Daytona, where Joey Logano not only took home the Harley J. Earl Trophy, but an incredible ceremony was held to announce Jeff Gordon’s retirement from the sport.
Yes, that’s right—the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, three-time Dayton 500 winner, and five-time Brickyard 400 winner, and man who displays the number “24” is racing his final year.
NASCAR has the longest season in sports, as it starts in the last week of February and is carried all the way through November. With a race every Sunday, the sport gets extremely competitive; 43 cars race around a track for 400 to 500 miles, driving at speeds of 200 miles per hour, all racing for the maximum amount of points they can receive.
The current point system awards 43 points for a race victory, with three bonus points for winning, and one bonus point for leading a lap. If a driver also leads the most laps they are awarded an extra point, which leaves the driver the maximum total of 48 points. After the race winner, each racer is scored with a one-point drop from the winner’s base 43 points, meaning second place is given 42 points, third place 41, and so forth until the final finisher receives just one point.
With Gordon’s accomplishments, ranging from his 92 CareerNASCAR Cup Victories to his 78 Career Poles, and the fact that he holds nine road-course victory records, it’s hard to see him in the bottom half of the standings. Not being able to finish the race in Atlanta or Daytona, you would have seen Gordon get caught in a multiple car pile up at both tracks.
In an interview, Gordon said that the reason for his retirement is to spend more time with his kids and see them grow up. It would be nice to see a family-man driver like this take home a 5th NASCAR Cup Championship, especially since it’s his last year.
The season continues this weekend as NASCAR is brought to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where all 43 drivers get to race for the Kobalt 400. Check out the race to see if the amazing Jeff Gordon can complete the race and maybe take home his first victory of the season.