Jeff Gordon, a highly respected four-time winner of NASCAR, announced that after the 2015 he plans to retire. In addition to championships in 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2001, Gordon has 92-career Sprint wins spanning throughout his 23-year career driving car No. 24.

Gordon quickly became a favorite on the racetrack for being charismatic and an excellent driver. In his announcement, Gordon was careful not to officially call his departure “retirement” because there is always a chance that he will continue to compete in some events although at this time that is not the plan.

His entire career was with Hendrick Motorsports and while in North Carolina, he told the organization and all his team members of his plan. Gordon stated that being a racecar driver allowed him to do what he wanted and that life has been good. He admitted to giving the decision of retiring a lot of thought but felt after this season it was the right time.

This is also the right time according to Gordon because he is coming off one of the best seasons of racing he has had in a long time, having four wins last year. Unfortunately, years ago, Gordon suffered from major injuries, primarily to his lower back region. Because of that, he was prescribed anti-inflammatory medication and worked closely with a trainer to regain strength. Even this his injury, Gordon raced during the 2008 season at which time retirement was considered.

Although Gordon has left a permanent and positive mark on the race world, he also leaves behind a legacy of being a really great guy. He was a different breed of driver, someone who was fresh, clean-cut, and genuinely nice. Gordon was the corporate image that NASCAR wanted but his overall personality is what won the hearts of many fans.

His first race was debuted in 1992 in Atlanta and from that day forward, Gordon has taken the world of racing by storm. In career victories, he ranks third just behind Hall of Famer Richard Petty and Davie Pearson. Gordon has also taken three wins at Daytona 500 and holds a record of five wins at Brickyard.

Because Gordon maintains stake in Hendrick Motorsports, there is no question that he will remain involved with the organization and racing in one aspect of another. However, millions of people will miss seeing him on the track. When asked what his plans were after retirement, Gordon said he wanted to explore a number of opportunities but that right now, his entire focus is on an incredible 2015 season.