Hendrick Motorsports eager to continue learning from Jeff Gordon

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LONG POND, Pa. — Jeff Gordon got a new title this week at Hendrick Motorsports but it hasn’t changed the impact he’s had, particularly on Saturday’s Cup winning team of Alex Bowman and crew chief Greg Ives.

Gordon, a four-time Cup champion at Hendrick, was named Hendrick Motorsports vice chairman this week. When he officially assumes the role on Jan. 1, 2022, he will become the No. 2 person in the organization behind team owner Rick Hendrick.

Saturday, Hendrick Motorsports extended its Cup winning streak to six points races (seven overall, counting the NASCAR All-Star Race). Hendrick Motorsports goes for another win in today’s Cup race at Pocono Raceway (3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN). It has been 49 days since a team other than Hendrick won a Cup race.

MORE: Details for Sunday’s Pocono Cup race

After Saturday’s win, Ives noted an impactful conversation with Gordon after a disappointing performance last weekend at Nashville.

“This week, the 48 car had a tough Nashville, right, and the great thing was Jeff gave me time to talk,” Ives said. “He’s been though a lot of situations that involved winning and involved tough days. He was able to give me 20 minutes of his time and give me advice, not only advice but also how to maybe look at some different situations in the future because he’s experienced it. I think it’s a huge impact for Hendrick Motorsports to have that guy that has accomplished so much but also has had a long career.”

Bowman said his relationship with Gordon has grown since they shared the No. 88 ride in 2016 for an injured Dale Earnhardt Jr.

“Jeff is super helpful,” Bowman said. “He gets it from an organizational side, he gets it from a race car driver side. That’s been really cool. I don’t think I talked to him at all this week aside from I think he was at the meeting. Lots gone on this week, I can’t remember.

I got to fly home from Raceway Park in Indianapolis, I guess, two weeks ago with him now. That was really cool, to fly home with him and his parents, share old open-wheel racing stories. It’s been kind of cool to build that relationship with Jeff.

When I first started driving the 88 and kind of sharing it with him, I didn’t really know Jeff. That probably out of everybody at Hendrick Motorsports, just with him having to wear so many different hats, having so much going on, like that relationship probably took the longest to build. But it’s really cool to get to lean on somebody with so much knowledge in so many different areas and have his help and advice.”

Jeff Andrews, general manager for Hendrick Motorsports, notes the impact Gordon has had and can have on the organization.

“We look forward to his contributions to our company,” Andrews said. “I think we’ve already seen a lot of things he’s been involved in, behind the scenes, when he wasn’t working in his television job there.

For him to come to us now in that full-time role – he’s planning on being here (Sunday) with us – to have watched him, to have been fortunate enough to have been with him through his career at Hendrick Motorsports, transitioning to a driver, getting more involved in ownership and leadership role now, it’s been an honor.

“I think all of us at Hendrick, from the drivers, crew chiefs, all the employees are super excited about what that means to our future.”