It is no doubt a simple question. However, the answers can be complex.
During the month of May 2003, fans sent in their answers to this question.
Following are the responses.
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Sylviann Cheney - Maine
Laura Neglieri - Maine
Luke Smith - New York
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I am a Jeff Gordon fan because he is truly an awesome guy. I have never met him but can't wait for that day to come, I might need someone to hold me back when I do meet him! He gives tons of money every chance he gets to various numbers of charities. And does tons of stuff for children with illnesses, like just this past week giving that little boy a ride to school in the race car. He does so much for the sport and just carries himself very nicely wherever he goes. Jeff hosted Saturday Night Live, made kind of a fool of himself (I loved it!) to promote Nascar into the eyes of people who watch Saturday Night Live. He lives a very public life and everyone is always spying on him and taking pictures and making up stories for the newspapers about it. He gets booed while being introduced but he doesn't let any of this get to him. He is a hero in my eyes. Not to mention he is a hunk and very sexy. So all this is why I'm a Jeff Gordon Fan!
Steve Nibbelink - Iowa
The short answer is that I always have been since the first time I saw him race. Jeff is the first driver since A.J. Foyt that hasn't disappointed me on race day. Growing up, I'd watch races (Indy 500, Daytona, etc.) on network television mainly for the wrecks. Of course I had to have someone to root for during the race and I'd usually pick someone based on their car number or color. A.J. Foyt was the ONLY driver to that point who actually won races on the day I rooted for him. I tuned in to the inaugural Brickyard 400 because it was being run at Indy not because it was NASCAR. Most of the drivers names were unfamiliar to me. I decided to root for Jeff because his car qualified on my number/color scheme. He won that race and gained a fan that day. Why do I still root for him even though I'm older and know more about NASCAR? Jeff is a nice guy. He's a good role model. He's not the type that lets his anger get the best of him. You won't sse Jeff spin someone out on pit road after the race. You won't see Jeff knock a tape recorder out of anybody's hand. You won't see Jeff standing at the side of the track telling another driver to kiss his @$$. Sure he can angry about what happens on the track but he sets it aside once the race is over. Jeff is a true champion and will continue to have my support.
For almost twelve years, I have been a NASCAR fan, watching the greats battling weekly on TV like Dale Earnhardt, Davey Allison, Darrell Waltrip, and Mark Martin. I really did not have a favorite driver for the first four years of my time watching the sport, as I was more fascinated by the cars than the drivers. I was ten years old when I found out about Jeff Gordon, as he won the Winston Cup championship in 1995. When I saw his car on TV, I wanted to know who drove that cool car and it turns out it was a young man who looked like nothing like a NASCAR driver. At first glance, I thought that this Jeff Gordon character must be a rookie who has driven cars for a little while. Turns out, he's been racing cars years before any of my siblings were born! And it amazes me to know that Jeff Gordon has been a racer since the age of five, which is more than adequate experience behind the wheel of any high-powered vehicle. He earned his dues on the dirt tracks of the U.S., beating many great sprint car drivers and building the foundation that he has continued to build with his appearances on ESPN Thursday Night Thunder.
I've admired Jeff Gordon for just his take on life, through the succesful heydays of 1995-1998 through adversities in 1999 and 2000. Although he has been on the spotlight for news that makes money for periodicals like the National Enquier, he handles pressure with in a facile, candor manner. He has proved to me that in order to go to the top, you must fall and realize exactly what you want again. Jeff Gordon has been my childhood hero and will always be a figure that I admire through all the ups and downs. Also, isn't Jeff a great racer? He's the complete package, road course warrior, short track ace, he's just flat out a great driver. No matter how much triumphs he will accumulate for the rest of his career, he has surely been the best driver and one of the best athletes I will ever see in my lifetime. Great driver and a man who is just as human as any of us. And that's as awesome as it gets.
I am proud to be a Jeff Gordon fan for several reasons. For one thing, I am proud to be a Jeff Gordon fan because he drives to win. He also does a lot of off-track stuff, like driving an 11-year-old leukemia patient to school in a #24 two-seater. Jeff also had a great sponsor in Dupont, which is actually a part of science and our American history. He also drives a Chevy, which is a GM manufacturer, and I like GM.
I am a Jeff Gordon fan for a million different reasons... he's a great driver, gorgeous, good sense of humor, etc., but i have to say that the #1 thing that drew me to being a true to the core fan is his personality. Most people say his looks and that's all well and good, but I think that Jeff is by far one of the nicest people around. Everytime I read all the nice things he does for people and his fans, it truly amazes me and makes me love him even more than i do already (if that's possible). Everytime I go to the website, I'm always reading how he helps sick kids & kids w/ disabilities and how he devotes his spare time to them. I think that is the main reason why I'm such a tremendous fan of his and will continue to be his biggest fan in Maine forever!
I first started watching racing a little when I was nine or ten because my dad watched the races on CBS. At that time, I usually picked a different driver as my "favorite" to win each week. The first race I ever watched all the way through was the 1997 Daytona 500. As I watched the cars take the pace laps, I picked my driver by my usual method-- I looked for the coolest paint scheme. I picked that red and blue rainbow car almost immediately. I've rooted for Jeff Gordon ever since.
Unfortunately, until recently, I was only a casual fan. I only watched the races on CBS because we didnít have cable, and I didnít keep track of the title chase at all. My favorite driver won two championships and 23 races in the first two years I rooted for him, and I knew virtually nothing about it. I didn't even watch the 2001 Daytona 500, when FOX and NBC took over race coverage. That all changed in the summer of 2001. I was hit by a car while I was on my bike early in August and broke a few ribs and a few vertebrae. After intensive spinal surgery, I was in the hospital for nearly a month, undergoing rehab (which has been a complete success, by the way). Because I was under 16 years old, I got cable in my hospital room for free. Rooting for Gordon on Sundays became the highlight of my week.
After I got home, one of the few things I could do readily was surf the net and watch TV. While I was a casual race fan, I collected a few Gordon diecast cars, mostly Winner's Circle form Wal-Mart. That hobby became an obsession. I spent hours on the computer searching for all of Gordonís Action diecast special paint schemes. It was a project that I didnít complete until this past December. The effort and time I put into it, though, made me a die-hard Gordon fan and a diehard NASCAR fan.
Since then, I get on NASCAR.com every day, gordonline.com three or four times a week, buy a subscription to a racing magazine, and buy NASCAR and Jeff Gordon books, not to mention faithfully watching the races each week and even taping Gordon's wins on Speed Channel's Winston Cup Wednesday. (I also broke several magnets on my refrigerator when I threw a pillow across the house when Gordon's engine gave out at Talladega last October!)
Lauren Born - North Carolina
The reason I am a Jeff Gordon Fan and every Sunday I root for the #24 DuPont Chevrolet is because Jeff Gordon is a sincere intelligent and a sweet guy who takes time out of his busy schedule to spend the day with sick people such as children. He does charity work and gives money to foundations for many reasons. The other reason I am a Jeff Gordon fan is to watch him race on the track every Sunday even though he risks his life to give us the fans entertainment. Jeff Gordon probably does not know how much he inspires his fans but he does and I am one of them. I support Jeff in what he does because I believe that he can do it. To me he is the best driver on the circuit. I am most proud of what Jeff does. Without Jeff's entertainment would racing be this good? Another reason is watch race around the track and cheer him on as he goes for the win.
Tina - Ontario, Canada
It's the funniest thing but 7 years ago I started watching Nascar racing. My boyfriend at the time actually resembled Jeff Gordon so when I watched my first race and saw Jeff on TV for the first time naturally I though he was so cute and handsome so through the race I followed him, plus I loved the rainbow coloured car! I know looks and the colour of car isn't the best way to pick a favourite but I knew nothing about racing at the time. Now I'm addicted and never miss a race, and can talk the technical stuff as good as anyone. Anyway, after a few races and a win in there if I remember correctly I began to realize there was more to Jeff then his appearance obviously. I saw one heck of a naturally talented race car driver. His whole team was incredible infact. Winning racing sometimes with what seemed like out of no where and then just plain dominating others. He seemed to make great moves and some even daring but never reckless. I started buying all Jeff's t-shirts and die cast, earrings you name it. I have an entire room now dedicated to Jeff and all my collectables.
Through the years I've also come to realize what a special man he is not only to the sport but also to life. His involvement with charities and children is really what a role model is all about. He just seems like such a down to earth person and I truly believe he really appreciates every one of his fans. Even if he never wins another race, I am forever his fan. He'll always be a winner in my book.
Pam Rodriguez - Illinois
During our lives we tend to have a passion for certain things, one of those things for me is Jeff Gordon. Although many may wonder why i root for Jeff, there is no one reason. When I was 11 years old (7 years ago!) my brother got me into racing and i said "Who should I root for?" He then pointed out this rainbow colored car with #24 on the side. He said, "that's Jeff Gordon, he's young and pretty good." After the race I remember them interviewing Jeff and I took one look at him and fell in love with him. Even though his looks are what i was first attracted to; I loved the fact that he was so dominate on the race track and at the same time a humble person. His rapid growth to success did not alter or change him as a person, he always stayed true to himself and his fans. Not only is he one of the best race car drivers of all-time, it's also the fact that he is truly a genuinely nice person. His off-track personality is unforgettable and the numerous charities he supports is the result of his maturity. So, for the rest of my life I will be a Jeff Gordon fan and my alligence will always be for him.
Danny - Wisconsin
It's kind of a funny story how I became a Jeff Gordon fan. The day of the 1997 Daytona 500 I was flipping through the channels and happened to stop at the Daytona 500. I had heard about NASCAR before but I had never really paid attention. So I told myself, whoever won this race would be my favorite racer. Thank goodness Jeff won and I started tuning in more and more. When he won the championship in 1997 I was hooked. I rooted for him more because everyone cheered against him. I have dedicated a whole wall to all the diecast cars I have and it is quite full and getting bigger by the day. I have also turned my dad into a huge Gordon fan and he got tickets to Bristol this year for my birthday and we made the 13-hour drive from here in SE Wisconsin down to Bristol (had the time of my life also).
Tommy Briggs - Mississippi
I have only been a NASCAR fan for 3 years. I tuned in the day that Dale Sr. died just to see what was going on, and I got HOOKED. I am now a SERIOUS fan. From the moment I first tuned in, Jeff Gordon got my attention. In a world of sports figures gone bad, I saw a young man that handled himself in a very professional manner. A great champion, a true gentleman, and a caring human being. I'm sure he has his troubles like we all do, but he's the perfect NASCAR Champion. To me Jeff IS NASCAR! I hope he wins many more championships. I really look forward to the races every week, and I collect the 1/24 Jeff Gordon Diecast and Jeff Gordon autographs.
Kim Burt - Ontario, Canada
Simple - he's the best. And that's not just on the track. Of course his prowess as Jeff Gordon the racer has been proven time and time again there - the 4 championships show that without a doubt. He can win anywhere - short tracks, super speedways and of course road courses. He can win from the pole - and from deep in the field. He's a clean racer - respected by all of his peers for what he can do with the car. He's gracious - and very seldom loses his temper. He sets a great example for a young up-and-comer in any form of racing-- he came by his success because of his driving skills - not because of his last name or the money behind him. Off the track, I think his way of handling anything that comes along speaks volumes about Jeff Gordon the man. He genuinely wants to help people - children and older folks alike. He devotes as much time as possible to doing whatever he can to make lives a little better - and of course being able to donate serious cash doesn't hurt either. He's polite, very seldom do you see him say something he later has to apologize for. He's been tested this past year by the divorce - and still handles himself in a way that demands admiration. He's had some exciting opportunities to do some neat things and always brought positive attention to the sport that he represents so well. He is a wonderful role model for those of us who strive to be a better person.I bet his mom is the proudest person alive! Jeff Gordon is the complete package. I'm proud to be a fan.
Sharla and Brittany Bennett - Tennessee
My name is Sharla Bennett and my daughter, Brittany and I are Jeff Gordon fans. We just love him. He knows his racing... he is not just a pretty boy in a car. He really loves it and you can tell it. I could go on and on of all the stuff that we have of his but, the main thing is WE LOVE JEFF GORDON! He is the Man with a Plan. You can see he knows his stuff, look at who he hired for the Lowe's car. Jimmie Johnson aint too bad himself. He is right up there with his boss. We keep an eye on him too.
Connie Melton - Illinois
How can I not be for one of the best, if not the best driver in WC racing? He has the numbers to prove that he is the best right along with being good looking and debonair. His #24 DuPont Chevrolet is the best looking car on the track and I can spot it no matter where it is.
Terra Boak - Pennsylvania
I'm a Jeff Gordon fan because, lets face it, it's so much fun to root for a driver that rival drivers fans just don't like to see win races. Every time I go to a race or wear anything Jeff Gordon (which is almost everyday), I'm constantly hounded teesed,heckled (you get the picture), especially by Earnhardt Jr and Stewart fans, so that just gives me more motivation to say loud and proud that I'm a Jeff Gordon fan! Also the respect I have for him, Robbie, and the entire Hendrick organization is beyond imaginable. It always makes it easier to root for a driver when they come from a group of good people!
Lindsey Woodward - Florida
When people hear that I am a Jeff Gordon fan, their first reply is, "oh, you only like him because he wins all the time." This is so far from the truth it is not even a relevant thought to me. I am a diehard Gordon fan because of the values, class, and standards that Jeff Gordon has built for himself. He always represents himself with class and integrity. He is an all around good man. He contributes so much money to various charities for various reasons. He is a good christian man that devotes himself entirely to the lord.
I have been a Jeff Gordon fan ever since his "bad luck" season in 2000. No one can say that I am a fan only because he wins all the time. That year, there was so much frustration in his team. Yet he finally rose above all the questions and comments in 2001. In the year 2001, he clearly erased all the doubts that fans, commentators, other drivers, and anyone that had doubts about his capabilities. No one believed that he would win without Ray Evernham and he did. And he did not rub it in anyone's faces, and he did not boast.
And I am a fan because he survived the wreckage of his late divorce. Everyone in the garage started talking about HIS personal life, and that he can't win because he is distracted. Well that may have been somewhat true, but who can't be distracted with something huge like a divorce? The fact that he kept up his morale during 2002 with the divorce, and the speculations about his divorce is amazing. Any normal person would become angry and spiteful about the situation, but Jeff kept himself together, and maintained the integrity that he built for himself. His personal life was splattered all over the news, and was the talk of the garage for a while, but now he has risen from the wreckage and damage of his divorce and is moving on.
And my last argument is that Jeff Gordon is a good Christian man. He is vocal about his testimony and how he found God. How he came to believe in a life in the ways of the lord. I'm not saying he is the only driver to do this, but he has done this, and is an amazing thing. And that is why I am a Jeff Gordon fan.
Ricky Cutrell - North Carolina
I met Jeff in 1992 while I was at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Back then I was a Richard Petty fan. My talk with Jeff was very brief and he seemed likeable. A friend that was with me, Joe Ruttman's son-in-law, told me Gordon could really drive a race car. So, I started following his Busch career. Then Petty's last WC race was Jeff's first in 1992. I figured I'd support Jeff and "start over" with a ROOKIE. That way I wasn't jumping over to #2, #3, #6 or any of the other established drivers. Looks like I, and millions of others, made the right choice. Now I have an entire room dedicated to #24 diecast with over 400 cars of all scales. I have some original 1992 Baby Ruth pieces and 99% of all RCCA Elites. I'm only missing one or two. And, now that #48 is on board I buy his diecasts too.
Teresa Muntz - Ohio
When I first started to watch nascar racing about 12 years or so ago. I just enjoyed it for the thrill. When Jeff began to race he just stood out from all the rest. Young and very good looking, kind of shy acting, but boy could he race a car. So every race I would follow his car and before I knew it I was a Jeff Gordon fan. I have watch him grow up and became a smart person. He seem to be down to earth and not one to be in front of the camera all the time. He is more about the car and racing. I think sometimes he's too hard on himself and that again appeals to me. I am proud to say that I am one of his fans. I'd like to meet him one day, but as a person and a race car driver-- not because he is SO famous. I wish him luck in racing and know he will be around along time. And I will enjoy watching him. He is the BEST driver out there.
Garnette Plumley - West Virginia
I'm a Jeff Gordon Fan because: In 1994 I watched the inaugural race at Indianapolis while visiting with some friends. I wasn't a Nascar fanatic at the time - matter of fact, hadn't watched a race in years. I was told that I needed to pick someone to root for. A reporter was interviewing Jeff Gordon at the time and I was told that he was suppose to be an "up and coming new star in Nascar." I just thought he was real cute so I picked him to win. Guess what? HE DID WIN! Later I found out that was his second win that year - his first was the Coca-Cola 600. I hadn't even noticed that his sponsor was the company that my husband worked for; I just thought he was cute and his car was pretty. That must have been good enough! After that time, whenever anyone asked me who my favorite driver was, I would say "that cute little guy in the #24 car." Since that time our whole family has become Nascar fanatics. My husband and two daughters, a granddaughter, and sister are as fanatical as I am. At one point all my granddaughters were JG fans, but a couple have changed allegiances and are now Little E and Jeff Burton fans. We go to several races each year and I have had the opportunity to meet with Jeff on two occasions (at Fan Club meetings in Charlotte); also went to the Championship Breakfast in Atlanta in 1998 and got to hear him speak. I think Jeff is great, not only as a race car driver but as a role model for our young people. He is a credit to the sport and I agree with lots of other writers who say that Jeff Gordon changed Nascar history. Other young guns are coming on the scene now and making their mark, but Jeff Gordon single-handedly changed Nascar. My computer room is my "Jeff Gordon" room, full of memorabilia from stand-ups, a wall clock, pictures, a curio cabinet full of model cars, a JG telephone, and a JG screen saver on my computer. I completely understand how Earnhardt fans were so loyal; I'll be a JG fan forever! GO GORDY GO!
Julia Camarota - New Jersey
I have been a Jeff Gordon fan for many years. I first picked Jeff because I liked his car. I thought it was cool. When I began to follow him more closely, I saw a person I really liked. I like his values, his charity work, the way he lives his life & the way he accepts the things that happen to him. The good & the bad! He always has a positive outlook on life & he never lets the bad things get him down! Another major factor, is his faith in God. It never waivers. He is not afraid to express his love for our Lord!! His undying faith is an inspiration to others. I find it one of his most redeeming qualities. As a Christian, I find that someone in the spotlight who is not afraid to express his faith means a lot to me. My faith in God has grown since I have been following Jeff and I am proud to say I will be a Jeff Gordon fan forever.
Beverly Averette - North Carolina
Why am I a Jeff Gordon fan? That's easy. He's the best on the track. No matter how the race goes win or lose, he always thanks the Lord for a safe race.Jeff is a four time champion soon to be five. Jeff can drive the wheels off of any thing he drives.
Erica M. - Pennsylvania
There are several reasons why I am a Jeff Gordon fan. First, he is a great driver. There is nothing better than cheering for a driver that has as much talent as he does. Second, he is a great person. He seems to have a great personality, seems to get along well with other drivers, and is an all around nice guy. Third, he is a very charitable person. He supports many great organizations and helps all he can to make people's lives better. And last but definitely not least, who wouldn't want to cheer for a guy that good-looking?!
Doug and Sue - Maine
We're Jeff Gordon fans because not only does Jeff have amazing driving ability but he's a clean race car driver and a true role model to future race car drivers on and off the track as well as a humanitarian and just a all around good hearted man who gives his heart and soul to put a great race on for all his fans-- whether they love him or despise him for all his past success. Jeff is a winner and a driver like that comes along only once in a lifetime.
Jeff Gordon has made amazing strides since beginning his racing career. He was determined to be the best and has been at everything he's attempted to do. Nothing has stopped this man. He's known since a child what he's wanted to do, what he's needed to do to accomplish it and has done so. Even up to his messy divorce from his wife. No matter how many scandals circulate, Gordon continues to do what he does best. He continues to race and has even shown everyone that he's able to move on by dating again. I'm telling you, nothing slows this man down. More than anything I love how he works with terminally ill and disabled children. No matter how much running around he's doing, he'll stop everything to talk to or meet some little fan of his who's dream it is to meet Jeff Gordon. The story that has touched me the most, the one that made me especially proud to be a Jeff Gordon fan, was one I've read about recently. Even though Gordon has a tough schedule to keep up with, he took the time to give 11-year-old Enrique Zendejas the ride of his life to school. Do you know how much that must have meant to that little boy? That's an experience he will remember for the rest of his life and Jeff Gordon cared enough to follow it through.
That, besides being an excellent driver and kicking ass when he's driving a good running car, is the reason I'm a fan of Jeff Gordon's. He makes dreams come true for children who really need something special to happen in their lives. From now until the end of time Jeff Gordon will forever be #1 in my eyes, and in anyone else's eyes who has taste in good drivers.
Krystal - Canada
I first started watching racing during the 2002 Daytona 500. I waited for awhile before picking drivers to support because I did not want to just jump on the first bandwagon that happened to pass by. I watched as much as I could and this Jeff gordon fellow seemed to have great driving skills. He managed to avoid some nasty wrecks that had pulled drivers that had driven for longer into them. He made some pretty smooth move and some hair raising passes. I will also admit that with all the stupid media attention on his divorce, I felt sorry for him and gave him my support to help him know that his supporters would not abandon him just because the media was splashing him in bad ways. I also like that Jeff is always so respectful of fellow drivers. Every time he is interviewed that I have see, he has never said anything bad. He has never called anyone names or wished them harm (Bobby Hamilton Jr's "grenade" comment comes to mind). My respect contiues to grow for him when I hear of his involvement with charities and other selfless activities. I cheer for Jeff no matter where he runs, 1st or 21st.
Michelle Polk - Mississippi
I am a Jeff Gordon fan for several reasons. My dad always watched NASCAR racing for years and had attended races, but growing up, I had always thought it was a dumb thing to watch, until I had my son. When my son, who just happens to be named Ford, was three years old, he would watch the races with my dad. Ford always had questions about who drove what car, race tracks and the different flags. My dad was able to answer some of his questions, but my dad was only interested in Dale Earnhardt and didn t know many of the newer drivers. So Ford's questions prompted me to do some research and one slow day at work, I got on the internet and did a search for NASCAR. Lo and behold, there was a whole web site dedicated to NASCAR racing. I began to read everything I could so I would be able to answer Ford's questions. So the following Sunday, I was watching the race with Ford and my dad. Just so happens Jeff Gordon won the race and Ford announced that Jeff was his favorite driver. Every week after that, Ford and I would pull for Jeff. Over time I began to realize what an exceptional young man Jeff Gordon was.
He was a great example for Ford to watch and follow. I began to read more and more about NASCAR racing. It was a lot of fun after learning about the sport and all its drivers. That was in 1996. The next year Ford and I were all geared up to watch the start of the new season. I was hooked. My husband, who knows very little about NASCAR, was shocked that I had gotten so involved in the sport, not to mention my friends.
Jeff Gordon has given me a chance to bond with my son. We have Jeff and NASCAR in common and we discuss the races, the drivers and who might win the championship. We like going to buy the new cars every year and he thinks it s cool that I know who drives what car. Ford is almost 10 now, and it s been so much fun spending time with him. Jeff has given Ford and I chances to be together, and a common goal... pulling for #24!
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Sylviann Cheney - Maine
Laura Neglieri - Maine
Luke Smith - New York
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