Fox’s NASCAR booth may be heading for more changes. Jeff Gordon joined Fox Sports for the 2016 season and signed a multi-year extension with them in 2019, working first primarily with Mike Joy and Darrell Waltrip, then with Joy alone in 2020 following Waltrip’s retirement, and then with Joy and Clint Bowyer this year. Now, as per Adam Stern at Sports Business Journal, Gordon (seen above walking on pit road ahead of a Fox broadcast from Darlington on May 9) is considering exiting his Fox booth role after this season to increase his role at Hendrick Motorsports:
Fox Sports NASCAR analyst Jeff Gordon is weighing his future with the network after this season, according to sources familiar with the matter, and he could leave the booth to take on a larger role with Hendrick Motorsports.
…Gordon’s exact final decision for what he will do after this year is not yet known. But sources say that while he’s enjoying the new three-man booth this season with first-year analyst Clint Bowyer and longtime play-by-play man Mike Joy, he also finds the prospect of taking on a bigger role with HMS as an intriguing prospect. As a result, he’s considering whether to leave the booth after this season. Fox’s half of the NASCAR Cup Series season, which it splits with NBC Sports, ends after this weekend’s All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway. For the 49-year-old Gordon, taking a step back from the booth would likely allow him to spend more time with his family and devote time to other projects.
Gordon is the sole minority owner of HMS after he got a lifetime contract in 1999, and he’s been eyeing a more active role at the organization for years.
Of course, this may not lead to anything. As Stern mentions, Gordon told him back in 2017 that he was unsure if he’d stick with broadcasting after his first deal expired following the 2018 season. And in January 2019, he wound up not just signing a multi-year extension, but calling it “a no-brainer.” So he may again choose to stick with Fox.
Still, though, Gordon has been talking about a larger role at Hendrick for some time (he mentions that in both of those pieces), and he’s said that it would be tough for him to combine that with broadcasting from a time perspective. And if Gordon did wind up doing more at Hendrick, that might also present more conflict challenges with his booth appearances. So talk of him leaving broadcasting to increase his Hendrick role certainly doesn’t seem out of the question. We’ll see what he eventually decides, and if he does leave, we’ll see where Fox goes next with their booth.
[Sports Business Journal; photo from Jasen Vinlove/USA Today Sports]