Just like how the No. 3 has returned to the track, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Gordon hopes to see his No. 24 on the track after his days of racing are over.
Team owner Rick Hendrick wanted to retire Gordon’s car number but the driver told him otherwise.
“Rick wanted to retire that number for maybe one year or a certain period of time — you never know what NASCAR allows,” said Gordon. “He definitely threw that idea out to me, and I said, ‘No.’
Beginning in 2016 the No. 24 will be driven by Chase Elliott, son of former Cup Series Champion Bill Elliott.
“I love the No. 24. I want to see the 24 go on to do great things. I did say if Chase was really adamant or (his dad) Bill and Chase and (his mom) Cindy all felt like that another number was more suited, that I was open to it. But I think our fans want to see the 24 continue on with the right person and be successful with the right guy, and he’s the right guy.”
Much like Gordon, NASCAR has no intentions to retire the No. 24 which has been driven by Gordon since his debut at Atlanta in 1992.
“When you look at the sport, Jeff Gordon has certainly made an unbelievable impact on the sport and has been transcendent,” NASCAR executive vice president Steve O’Donnell said Monday. “If you talk to Jeff, and we haven’t had that dialouge yet, I’m not sure he would even want that. So we’ll wait and talk to Jeff and see where he’s at.”
NASCAR never retired the No. 3 which had been driven by Dale Earnhardt. Austin Dillon began driving the No. 3 at Richard Childress Racing last season.