CP MOTORSPORTS - GORDON JOINS LEGENDS; HONORED AT BRISTOL
Nothing says respect like having your own grandstand in the Last Great Coliseum.
Bristol Motor Speedway executive vice president and general manager Jerry Caldwell announced Jeff Gordon will have his a grandstand named in his honor in a press conference Friday. Gordon will now be alongside the likes of Richard Petty, David Pearson and Darrell Waltrip as drivers who have been honored by the track.
Caldwell believes Gordon's legacy, especially at Bristol, has earned him this honorable distinction.
"In the sports arena, when you think of legends you think of Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan, Arnold Palmer, the list can go on and on but truly we have a legend right here among us," Caldwell said. "The impact that Jeff (Gordon) has made on our sport is monumental, I think that is without question. Being a five-time winner here at Bristol, four-time champion what he's done for the sport, for Bristol Motor Speedway and for the race fans.
Caldwell said it was a difficult task merely coming up with an idea befitting of a legend of Gordon's stature.
"We asked ourselves, what do you do for somebody like that? How do you give him something to show our respect for what you've done for the sport and done for us for so many years when you've got everything?," Caldwell explained. "But in true Bruton Smith fashion and Marcus Smith fashion, you've got to make it big. You (Gordon) deserve to be among the legends at Bristol with the greats of Darrell Waltrip and Cale Yarbrough, Junior Johnson and Dale Earnhardt. So Jeff Gordon deserves his own grandstand.
"In 2016, we will have Jeff Gordon terrace level at Bristol Motor Speedway on the backstretch."
Gordon, who has been honored in nearly everyway by almost every track so far, was blown away by the honor.
"Gosh, this means the world to me," Gordon said. "This place is awesome and I love coming here. I've enjoyed competing here but this is one of those tracks it brings the fan out in all of us. For you to honor me this way means so much to me and I get to enjoy this honor for years to come. So I'm very proud of that. I'm proud of what I've accomplished here and can't thank you enough."
Gordon, who already has five victories at Bristol in his storied career, will go for number six in Saturday evening's Irwin Tools Night Race.