By AMANDA VINCENT
Four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon was the fourth-quarter recipient of the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Spirit Award. The award recognizes “character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports,” according to a release from the NMPA.
Gordon’s charitable work includes support of pediatric cancer research through the Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital and the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation.
Gordon began NASCAR competition in 1990 in the Busch (now-Xfinity) Series. His first season of full-time Winston (now-Sprint) Cup competition was 1993 with Hendrick Motorsports. He remained with HMS through his entire Cup-level career, ending with the 2015 season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway last month. During that time he collected 93 wins, third on the all-time wins list behind NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and David Pearson. He won Cup championships in 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2001.
In 2015, Gordon was one of four drivers still in contention for the Sprint Cup championship in the finale at Homestead-Miami. His 2015 stats included a win at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, in addition to five top-fives and 21 top-10 finishes in 36 points-paying races.
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