By all accounts, Jeff Gordon is enjoying his retirement.
There is one thing, however, that could pry the NASCAR legend out of the broadcast booth and put him back behind the wheel.
Gordon spends most of his time in North Carolina, but has a soft spot for New York. He has an apartment in Manhattan, vacations in the Hamptons and both his children were born in the Big Apple, according to Newsday.
And if NASCAR ever decided to put a short track in the New York area, Gordon might not be able to help himself.
“Man, I would give anything,” Gordon told Newsday on Thursday. “That might even bring me back to driving if we had a track at the Meadowlands.
” … Going down to Teterboro (Airport) from time to time, going by the Meadowlands all the time and seeing all the things they’re building that are all sports-related, I just wish we could have figured out a way to get a race track there, especially a short track. You look at the schedule and we desperately want another short track.”
Gordon made the comments during a Financial Planning Association of Long Island event. The event was part of Nationwide’s partnership of Hendrick Motorsports, Gordon’s former team.
NASCAR, in fact, nearly realized Gordon’s dream more than a decade ago. International Speedway Corporation owned a plot of land in Staten Island from 2004 to 2013, but never did anything with it. As it stands right now, a NASCAR track in the New York metropolitan area feels like an extreme longshot.
And that, for lack of a better word, stinks. As Gordon said, NASCAR could use another short track on its schedule. Yes, Bristol Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Richmond Raceway and Dover International Speedway are great, but another short track — especially one in New York — surely would provide a jolt to a sport in desperate need of one.
And don’t scoff at the notion that New Yorkers would be interested in something like NASCAR. The state, like much of the northeast, has a rich asphalt racing history, and ranks among the highest in the sport in terms of overall viewership, according to Newsday.
“The number of people watching in New York is huge,” Gordon said. “There are a tremendous number of fans … I think they wouldn’t have any problem filling the stands.”
To be clear: No one is suggesting that NASCAR put a track in the middle of Manhattan, Brooklyn, or any of the five boroughs, for that matter. That would be stupid.
But a short track in the surrounding area? It’s an aggressive idea, to be sure, but it’s not a bad one.
Plus, if nothing else, it could lead to the return of the Rainbow Warrior.
Thumbnail photo via Matthew O'Haren/USA TODAY Sports Images