AP: Jeff Gordon decided last year to leave NASCAR after ’15

(AP) – Jeff Gordon tells The Associated Press that he decided in the middle of last season that 2015 would be his last as a full-time NASCAR driver.

The four-time champion says he was in talks with team owner Rick Hendrick when he came to the conclusion to race a 23rd and final season in the No. 24 Chevrolet. Gordon says the timing is just right both personally and professionally.

He delayed announcing his decision until Thursday, when he first told his two young children at home in Charlotte, North Carolina. Gordon says that’s when his decision became a reality, and he broke down in tears.

Gordon sobbed the entire 30-minute drive to Hendrick Motorsports, and again lost his composure as he informed his team and his longtime employees.

The 43-year-old Gordon trails only Hall of Fame drivers Richard Petty (200) and David Pearson (105) in wins.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Categories: Motorsports, Regional Sports, Sports

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