Allen Kee / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — The four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon reflected back on his illustrious career, and his personal life in the spotlight, in an interview with Michael Strahan that aired Wednesday on ABC News’ Good Morning America.
“It was sort of my destiny to, to be a race car driver,” the three-time Daytona 500 winner said. “I mean, I have been at the racetrack probably every weekend just about since I was maybe 6 or 7 years old.”
Gordon said that his biography, Jeff Gordon: His Dream, Drive, and Destiny, which came out last week, offers fans a candid glimpse at many aspects of his personal life, from his childhood to his highly-publicized relationship with his ex-wife.
He said what he thinks will surprise fans the most in his book is how hard his parents had to work in order for him to be able to pursue his dreams.
“I think most people, when they saw me coming to NASCAR, thought, ‘Oh man, he just had everything handed to him on a silver platter. He came from a wealthy family,'” Gordon said. “It was not that at all. My parents had to work hard, sacrifice a lot.”
Gordon also joked about how at one point in his career he was often compared to the popular character of Ricky Bobby from the 2006 film Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.
“I go back to that time in my life and I go, ‘Who was I?’ It was crazy. I mean, life was good, on one hand, because of all the wins and the success. And my lifestyle was just booming and blowing up and all that,” Gordon said. “But on the other side, it was, like, this is not me. This is not who I am.”
“And so yeah, there was definitely some Ricky Bobby moments throughout that time,” he added.
Gordon also joked that the 2000 Nelly hit, “E.I.,” which raps his name in the lyrics, is what “put him on the map.”
As the race car driver looked back at his life, he told Strahan that his stepfather, John Bickford, is the “hero in this book.”
“He presented the race car to me and my sister,” Gordon said of his stepfather. “She wasn’t interested. Now she’s like, ‘I could’ve been Danica Patrick.'”
Gordon said that his stepfather is responsible “for my entire career,” adding that “he guided me along the way.”
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