The four time Cup series champion, who will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame next month, has agreed to a new multi-year deal as a race analyst with Fox Sports. Gordon’s first TV contract went through the 2018 season.
“It was a ‘no-brainer’ for me, even more so this time around,” Gordon, 47, told Motorsport.com. “The first time, I didn’t exactly know what I was getting myself into. I didn’t know whether I was going to be any good at it, if I was going to enjoy it.
“I’ve enjoyed it a lot. I think it’s a great transition out of driving the car and what comes along with the competition and the teamwork that goes into being a driver. It’s a great transition because you work with a team of people, the competition is probably you yourself and trying to push yourself to get better.
“It has some similarities to it yet without all the risk. The risk now is going on to social media after the race.”
I’m enjoying it more than I even thought I would and that’s why I’m going to continue on
Gordon said he doesn’t mind the criticism.
“I’ve always been one of my own strongest critics, and I’m pretty open and honest about things like that,” he said. “But I’ve enjoyed it so much that I was hoping Fox would want a new contract and luckily it worked out to do that.”
Future role at Hendrick Motorsports
There has been much speculation this past season whether Gordon may step away from his TV role and soon transition to a larger role in the front office of Hendrick Motorsports.
Gordon said those discussions with team owner Rick Hendrick occurred before he retired and continue today but there remains no firm timetable.
“I think that there may be that role in the future, I think it’s probably very likely,” Gordon said. “But it’s trying to find out when that timing is going to be right for Rick and myself.
“Quite frankly, we had conversations before I retired about what the next few years after driving would look like and actually – he probably regrets it a little bit now – but I took his advice. He thought doing TV would be a good thing and I would probably do a good job at it.
“Now, I’m enjoying it more than I even thought I would and that’s why I’m going to continue on. It’s been a pretty good balance. It gives me a great opportunity to work as well as spend time with my family.
“Right now, I’m pretty happy with the way it is.”
Transition to the booth
Prior to his role as a fulltime Fox NASCAR analyst, Gordon served as a race analyst for Fox Sports’ coverage of three Xfinity Series in 2015. His move to the Fox booth furthered a career in which his affability and crossover appeal provided him numerous high-profile television and movie opportunities in addition to his record-setting driving career.
Gordon has also benefited from working with a consistent group since arriving at Fox, something not always possible in broadcasting.
For Gordon’s first three seasons in the broadcast booth – and again this year – he has worked alongside play-by-play announcer Mike Joy and analyst and fellow Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip. Longtime Fox NASCAR analyst Larry McReynolds has served as an additional race analyst with the trio during Gordon’s tenure.
“They’ve become like family to me,” Gordon said. “I’ve really enjoyed working with them. I saw DW a few weeks ago and had that little snicker and smile on his face and I had the same thing.
“I think because you work together for 18 weeks and not for 38, you’re excited to see one another and work with one another and have fun doing it. Even though it’s a serious job, you get to have fun doing it and Darrell has certainly taught me a lot.
“Mike is just an incredible professional and I’ve learned a ton from him. Our producer helps run the TV broadcast, but Mike helps run the show and he’s so good at it. We have an awesome team, whether it’s on ‘Race Hub’ or at the track.”