Gordon’s crew chief, Ray Evernham, had a young son who has leukemia. This young boy’s struggle to survive helped put auto racing into perspective for Gordon. Gordon and Evernham established an organization to help children with leukemia – “Racing for a Reason.”
Gordon said to the television audience and the fans at the speedway, “Because of this championship, we’re going to donate $25,000 [to the organization]. We’ve had help from the Speedway Children’s Charities, Coca-Cola and DuPont.”
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Then he looked into Jeriana’s eyes and said, “We just want to say, ‘Thank you very much.’ You’re the sweetest thing there is, and we really love you’.”
As soon as he had made his point, still holding Jeriana on his lap, he grinned at the sportscasters and said, “We got that championship, man! It’s just the greatest thing in the world. I don’t know how to describe it… ”
You can see the video of that interview on YouTube – on Jeriana’s channel. She is grown up now and is doing great.
This young athlete has kept things in perspective. There are things more important than sports – life and death issues that are going on in the world every day. It’s gratifying to see someone use his fame to help those who are in need.
As one of the most successful and most popular drivers on the circuit, Gordon is in great demand
for public appearances, both for his sponsors and for motivating people. Sponsors have always been important to auto racing, not to give money to drivers for promoting their products but to provide the money needed to build and race the automobiles for this very expensive sport.
Yet with all of the demands on his time – racing, testing, public appearances, traveling all over the country and spending time with his wife and new baby – Gordon made the time to help children with leukemia.
As of 2014, Jeff Gordon was 3rd all time in wins in NASCAR’s top series, and 4th in total championships in that series. Is there a relationship between doing good and doing well? Could be.
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