Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

5 Times Jeff Gordon Ticked Off NASCAR Fans

Article Contents

Article Contents

Let us know what you think

Join the conversation on socials

Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

All Posts

What’s Happening?

Jeff Gordon is one of the Greatest Drivers in NASCAR history, but, that didn’t mean fans were always on his side. Gordon was the corporate, buttoned-up kid from California amongst a sport of “Good Old Boys”, and that image did not sit well with many – especially as he began winning races. These were the moments where many fans’ hatred of Gordon was born.

  • Jeff Gordon burst onto the NASCAR scene in the mid-late 1990s. In a sport previously dominated by Southern drivers, Gordon waltzed in and started dominating. He won 4 Championships in 7 seasons between 1995 and 2001 along with 56 checkered flags for a winning percentage of 24.2%.
  • Gordon did not gain infamy for being a dirty driver on track. Many fans did not connect with the West Coast-born and Midwest-raised Gordon the way they connected with the likes of Dale Earnhardt, Rusty Wallace, Cale Yarborough, and Richard Petty. Gordon was also winning everything in sight, so, that didn’t help.
  • Fans nowadays look back on Gordon quite fondly, and others have grown to appreciate just how good he was. However, when he was dominating, fans were very split on him.

#5 Gordon Cries After First Win (1994 Coca-Cola 600)

To understand this, it’s important to understand the context surrounding this. Jeff Gordon won his first race at the 1994 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway thanks to a savvy pit call by Ray Evernham. Gordon gave the totally human response of crying in victory lane after the biggest moment of his professional life up to that point, but…..

Remember, NASCAR fans expected their drivers to be hard, tough, and gritty, and seeing Gordon blubber like a baby in victory lane turned many hardened fans off. Gordon garnered a reputation amongst many fans as “Whiny”, and that’s part of why some just did not like his demeanor. This moment would not be reacted to the same way in today’s context, but, at the time, some fans thought it was a bad luck.

#4 Gordon Spins Matt Kenseth for the Win (Chicagoland 2006)

Jeff Gordon was rarely criticized for dirty driving, but if anyone ever made him mad, he never backed down. He and Matt Kenseth got into a post-race tussle at Bristol in the spring of 2006, and the two were battling for the win late in the USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. Kenseth spun out off of Gordon’s front bumper, and the driver of the #17 immediately called for Gordon to be penalized.

NASCAR did nothin, and Gordon won the race. Kenseth was pretty well-liked by fans, and Gordon even admitted in victory lane, “I hate to win one like that.” While likely not intentional, those who were not Gordon fans did not take this very well.

#3 Gordon Sets A Record (1998 NAPA 500 at Atlanta)

Gordon was not disliked so much for his action on track as much as it was because he was just so good. No other season exemplified that than 1998, where he set the modern era wins record with 13. No other race exemplified that than the 1998 NAPA 500 at Atlanta, the season finale.

In a race marred by nearly 7 hours of rain delays, Gordon took home the win by passing Dale Jarrett late. Fans sat around all day just to see #24 win another race. It was an incredible feat, but, fans were growing weary.

#2 Gordon Bests Dale Earnhardt For First Daytona 500 Win (1997 Daytona 500)

Dale Earnhardt had been so close so many times in nearly 2 decades worth of Daytona 500 starts, and Jeff Gordon was making his 5th start in the race in 1997. Earnhardt’s day was done after flipping with a few laps to go, and Gordon squirted through into second. Gordon passed then Most Popular Driver, Bill Elliott, for the lead after the restart to win the race.

Gordon beat his chief rival who had been waiting for years to win the Daytona 500, and Gordon beat the sport’s Most Popular Driver. The sour pill for fans was sweetened some as Hendrick Motorsports finished 1-2-3 as Rick Hendrick was battling Leukemia.

#1 Gordon Gets Beer-Bombed…TWICE (Talladega Spring 2004 and 2007)

Nothing says fans don’t like you than getting bombed with beer cans twce. The first came in 2004 at Talladega, where Gordon won the race in controversial fashion. Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr., then the Most Popular Driver, were side-by-side for the lead when a caution came out. NASCAR determined Gordon was in front, and they gave Gordon the win

In 2007, Earnhardt fans were once again enraged as Gordon won the Aaron’s 499 under caution. This win had Gordon pass Earnhardt for 5th on the All-Time wins list, with 77 victories. Talladega was Dale Earnhardt’s playground, and Earnhardt fans did not take kindly to the #24 car there.

Jeff Gordon made some fans angry whether he intended to or not. Which other moment did Jeff Gordon make the fans mad?

Aluma Trailers

Let us know what you think

Join the conversation on socials

Share this:

Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

All Posts