Jeff Gordon began racing quarter midgets at the age of 5 at the Roy Hayer Memorial Race Track in Rio Linda, California, with 35 main event wins and five track records by the age of six. Gordon won 51 quarter midget races in 1979 alone.
Gordon briefly switched to waterskiing at the age of 12, but switched back to driving just a year later. Gordon began racing sprint cars in 1986 and won three races. He was awarded a USAC license at age 16, making him the youngest driver to ever do so. By the early 1990s, Gordon expressed an interest in IndyCar racing, but he lacked proper funding so a ride never materialized. Former Formula One drive Jackie Stewart contacted Gordon about a possible test drive for Formula One in Europe, but Gordon never went due to being in contact with NASCAR.
Gordon is a four-time Sprint Cup champion and has won the Daytona 500 three times. He is ranked third on the all-time Cup wins list, as of 2015, with his 93 wins being the most in NASCAR's modern era. Prior to retiring at the end of the 2015 season, he was the active iron man leader for consecutive races participated in with 797.